Uttar Pradesh bans unsafe flour

    By IANS,

    Lucknow : The Uttar Pradesh government Tuesday imposed a ban on sale of a particular brand of buckwheat flour suspected to be contaminated and unsafe. The flour is widely used by those who keep fast during the Navratri celebrations.

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    The ban follows reports of mass food-poisoning in a few districts close to the national capital, where over 200 people were taken ill Tuesday after consuming a similar flour.

    In Uttar Pradesh, nearly 200 people were reportedly hospitalised after symptoms of gastro-intestinal ailments in Ghaziabad, Muzaffarnagar, Bulandshahr and Budaun districts.

    “We have ordered a statewide ban on the sale of ‘Kitchen’ brand flour,” Food and Drug Authority (FDA) Commissioner V.S. Pandey told mediapersons.

    “The manufacturing unit of the company at Ghaziabad has been sealed and seven persons, including its owner, have been arrested,” he said.

    “FDA officials have been alerted to carry out surprise raids across the state to prevent sale of the contaminated product,” he said.

    The nine-day fasting period of Navratri started Monday. It also marked the commencement of the new year as per the Hindu calendar.

    Devotees who observe fast during this period do not consume foodgrain or their derivatives, and flour made from the buckwheat is used as an alternative.