Consumer Alert: KMC takes action against substandard edible oils following Wai Wai noodles found ‘unsafe and hazardous’

KATHMANDU: In a concerted effort to protect public health, the Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) has imposed substantial fines on several companies for distributing harmful edible oils and Wai Wai instant noodles. These punitive measures highlight critical lapses in food safety standards and emphasize the need for heightened vigilance among consumers.

Chaudhary Group’s Wai-Wai instant noodles under scrutiny

On April 26, Wai-Wai instant noodles, a product manufactured by the Chaudhary Group, have come under fire for failing to meet quality standards. Following a consumer complaint about unnatural swelling in the noodles, the Market Monitoring Committee of the KMC conducted a thorough investigation. Samples of the noodles were sent to Zest Laboratory for quality testing, which revealed an abnormally high acid value in one batch, indicating the use of poor-quality oil likely due to repeated use.

Chaudhary Group has been fined Rs 200,000. “We have given instructions to bring back all the noodles in the market. As the acid value in the noodles of one lot is abnormal, we have given this instruction,” said Dr. Abadesh Kumar Jha of KMC. The company has been ordered to recall all affected products from the market immediately.
Despite the Kathmandu Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) imposing fines and ordering a recall, the Chaudhary Group has not removed defective packs of Wai-Wai instant noodles from the market.

Consumer rights activists accuse the company of using its influence to ignore these orders and dismiss the allegations. They argue that the Chaudhary Group’s actions undermine consumer rights and reveal irregularities in their practices. Activists urge the government to enforce a ban on the sale of the defective products to protect public health and uphold consumer safety standards.

This incident raises serious concerns about the quality control measures employed by the Chaudhary Group. The use of substandard oil in food products not only compromises the taste and texture but also poses significant health risks to consumers. Prolonged consumption of such products can lead to severe health issues, including gastrointestinal problems and potential long-term effects on cardiovascular health.

KMC spokesperson Nabin Manandhar said, “There is still much to be done within our jurisdiction. The detailed report is yet to come, and if there is further delay, we have discussed imposing a ban on sales and distribution of unsafe and hazardous Wai Wai and other below standard FMCG goods in Kathmandu. India also has a history of taking action against Maggi noodles.”

Consumer Alert: KMC takes action against substandard edible oils following Wai Wai noodles found ‘unsafe and hazardous’
Unsafe and hazardous Wai Wai and fined by KMC

Contaminated Edible Oils from Multiple Brands

In a parallel crackdown, the KMC has fined four companies Rs 200,000 each for selling contaminated edible oils. A comprehensive inspection of thirteen edible oil samples revealed that four were contaminated with inedible substances, including peroxide and acid, beyond the prescribed limits. These contaminants can pose a serious threat to human health, especially when the oils are heated during cooking.

The offending brands include:

Pakwan by Shree Ram Refined Oil Product, Morang (batch/lot no. S-2)

Amrit refined soybean oil by Annapurna Vegetable Product Pvt Ltd, Birgunj, Parsa (batch/lot no. 11)

Kwality refined soybean oil by Kwality Oil Refinery Pvt Ltd, Biratnagar, Morang (batch/lot no. 08)

Family mustard oil by Shiv Shakti Ghee Udhyog, Jitpur, Bara (batch/lot no. 10)

Nur Nidhi Neupane, chief of the Agriculture and Livestock Department at KMC, emphasized the severity of the situation. “The harmful effects of these oils, particularly when heated, could severely impact respiratory and cardiac functions, lead to significant blood pressure fluctuations, and increase the risk of cancer,” he warned. Neupane added that samples of these brands were tested at the National Food and Feed Reference Laboratory of the Department of Food Technology and Quality Control, which confirmed the presence of dangerous levels of peroxide and acid.

The Broader Implications for Consumers

These incidents highlight a critical issue: the pervasive lack of stringent quality control measures in the production of food items. For consumers, this situation underscores the importance of being vigilant and cautious about the products they purchase and consume. It is essential to check for proper certification and be aware of any recalls or warnings issued by health and safety authorities.

The KMC’s decisive actions reflect its commitment to ensuring the safety and well-being of consumers. However, these measures alone are not sufficient. There needs to be a concerted effort from both manufacturers and regulatory bodies to implement and enforce robust quality control standards. Companies must prioritize the health and safety of their consumers over profit margins, ensuring that all products meet the highest standards of quality and safety.

Fiscal Nepal |
Sunday July 7, 2024, 04:01:12 PM |

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