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Sunday Sep 25, 2022

Expired food products leave bitter aftertaste across Nepal

Ensuring food quality in the country is of major significance to the citizens

2022 Mar 31, 15:00, Kathmandu

The availability of healthy, nutritious food in the market comes under every citizen’s ‘ Right of food’.

The Department of Food Technology and Quality Control (DFTQC) is one of the three departments under the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development of the Government of Nepal (GoN) that is responsible for food quality control in the country. It is the only body that has authority over executing food acts in Nepal.

According to the latest report published by DFTQC at the end of year 2019, 10.0% of the food samples taken from market inspection were found to be not complying with the quality standards. The market inspection done by DFTQC showed 29.75% of drinking water samples collected were below quality standards. The inspection was carried out in 41 districts of Nepal, covering all geographical regions of the country. The inspection carried out focused on areas such as product packaging and labelling, ingredients and additives used, storage condition and hygiene maintenance.

“ When the food items exceed their edible date we throw them away although doing so keeps us at loss financially.” says Subhatra Rajak, the owner of Lazimpat’s grocery shop. 

Expired food items can be easily detected through mold and strange odor, but usually customers are not able to see or smell what’s inside the food package before they buy edible items. The only option left is to throw away the food if found susceptible.

“ The effects of consuming expired food items depends on the type of food consumed.” says Nutritionist Pradiumna Dahal.

“ Non - quality assured food has various influences on the human body. Depending on the substance’s impact level they are divided into categories such as, No-Observed-Adverse-Effect Level (NOAEL) , Lowest-Observed-Adverse-Effect Level (LOAEL) to more severe toxicity levels.” he adds.

Foods develop a poor and stale taste past their expiry dates. More importantly, the food can lose its nutritional value overtime.

Considering the possible harmful effects on consumer’s health, the significance of being aware about the food situation in the market becomes prominent. “ I always check for edible dates of food items before buying them.” says Radhika Ghimire, a customer at Lalitpur’s grocery shop.

When asked if she has ever found expired food items out for sale she replied, “ Yes, I occasionally do find expired bread, milk and pickles out for sale, when found so I inform the shopkeepers, but they usually seem unaware about it.”


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