Food Safety Alert: Carcinogenic Substance Detected in Cotton Candy in Telangana

In a recent development, officials from the Telangana State Food Laboratory uncovered a disturbing finding at the Medaram Jatara site—a stock of cotton candy, known as “peechu mithai” in Telugu, laced with a potent carcinogen called Rhodamine B. This banned substance, an industrial dye, poses significant health risks and has sparked concerns about food safety practices in the region.

G. Laxmi Narayana Reddy, Head of the State Food Laboratory and Chief Public Analyst, spearheaded the food safety enforcement team responsible for the seizure. Utilizing the Ethyl acetate method for spot testing and spectrophotometry for quantification, the team identified the presence of Rhodamine B, emphasizing its unsuitability as a food colorant due to its carcinogenic properties.

This marks the first instance of the State taking action against the use of fluorescent pink color in cotton candy. While there is no statewide ban currently in place, officials have pledged to crack down on the use of industrial dyes in food products, citing both immediate and long-term health concerns associated with their consumption.

Tamil Nadu set a precedent by imposing a ban on the sale of cotton candy colored with this industrial dye, prompting other states like Puducherry to follow suit. Andhra Pradesh has heightened surveillance measures to detect the presence of the harmful dye in food items, reflecting growing awareness of the issue across the region.

Despite efforts to regulate the use of such substances, challenges persist. Wholesale shops specializing in essences and colors in Hyderabad report a lack of stock of the banned dye. However, some establishments continue to offer alternatives, including water-based and gel-based food colors, highlighting the need for vigilant monitoring and enforcement of food safety regulations.

The Telangana State Food Laboratory remains committed to ongoing surveillance and enforcement actions to safeguard public health. As they continue to uncover instances of the banned industrial dye in food products, their efforts underscore the importance of stringent regulatory measures and consumer awareness in ensuring food safety standards are upheld.

In conclusion, the detection of Rhodamine B in cotton candy serves as a stark reminder of the critical importance of maintaining vigilance in food safety practices. By addressing these challenges head-on and implementing effective regulatory measures, authorities can mitigate health risks and protect the well-being of consumers across Telangana.


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