The FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India) has declared that imported areca nuts (locally known as the betel nut) consignments will have to go through rigorous checking and testing to comply with the food safety standards in the country.
The officers of the FSSAI have been instructed to perform 100% Sampling and testing on imported betel nuts consignments rather than relying on self-testing.
Betel nuts are the fruits of the areca palm. It is prone to the growth of fungi during production storage and transportation. That is why these measures been taken by the authorities.
Previously, these consignments were cleared in the customs on the basis of RMS (Risk Management System). It has been declared that imported betel nut consignments will not be given clearance on the basis of risk management system where the goods are cleared based on self-assessment declarations that are presented by the importers. Instead all the imported consignments will be subjected to 100% Sampling and testing.
Standards for betel nuts or areca nut have been prescribed by the FSSAI in its food safety and standard regulations of 2011.
The FSSAI has set limits of aflatoxin in betel nuts last year through an amendment in the food safety and Standards regulations of 2011.
The FS SBI officers have been strictly instructed to be vigilant and careful while giving clearance two important betel nut consignments to ensure compliance with food safety and Standards regulations.