Kolkata, Sep 30 (PTI) Sweetmeat outlets in the city on Wednesday said the recent directive of FSSAI for specifying the date of manufacture of each sweet product will plunge majority of the one lakh sweet shops in the state into a serious crisis situation.
In the climatic conditions of Bengal, most sweets don't last beyond a single day, Dhiman Das, owner of K C Das told PTI.
Hence the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) directive to put 'Best before date....' tag on each sweet tray is illogical considering the customers and sellers in every sweetmeat shop enjoy a trust about quality and freshness of sweets which cannot be quantified by such official declarations, he said.
The sweetmeat outlets have been asked to put up stickers before each tray from October 1.
'Is it possible to write best before sticker on the tray of syrupy cotton cheese sweets like rosogolla, rosomalai and misti doi,' he said.
'Further even if the big outlets like us can follow the directive of FSSAI, what about scores of small sweet shops located in every alley and neighbourhood across West Bengal? Do they have the manpower and wherewithal with one/two employees to religiously put a sticker with best before use date on 50-100 trays before opening the shop,' Sudip Mallick, one of the owners of Balaram Mallick Radharaman Mallick chain of sweetmeat outlets, said.
Das of K C Das outlets said 'as the sector is already reeling under serious crisis due to the pandemic-triggered lockdown, the new move by FSSAI will further throw small shops into serious financial stress in the festive season.' 'We apprehend officers from FSSAI department of Centre will harass sweetmeat shop owners and staff by levelling false cases taking advantage of the new directives,' he said.
Misti Udyog - Sweets and Savouries Manufacturers' Association of Bengal on September 28 had sent a letter to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee urging her to intervene so that the FSSAI directive is not applicable for sweetmeat shops in the state.
The letter also contains above-mentioned points.
Prominent sweetmeat outlet owners are also expected to meet West Bengal Consumer Affair minister Sadhan Pandey soon before deciding their next course of action. PTI SUS RG RG