By Chris Ketterer, News24, February 16, 2017 12:17:56India is facing an increase in foodborne diseases from the introduction of the first ever plastic grocery bags, according to reports.
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has announced that it is implementing the “sensory and temperature detection and control system” to help the government detect and track the spread of foodborne disease.
Food safety experts say that since the introduction in November of the plastic grocery bag, the country has seen an increase of 732 cases of food poisoning across India, including 735 cases in the state of Karnataka, which accounts for 80 percent of cases.
The move comes in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic that has claimed the lives of at least 1,711 people and injured nearly 4,000.
The government said that the new plastic grocery sacks will help the country to identify the source of the disease, prevent the spread and ensure the safety of the population.
The bags are manufactured by Arakan Sourcing Corporation and the government is seeking a licence from the Food Safety & Standards Authority for the use of them in all government buildings, including public hospitals, as well as for commercial and agricultural uses.
The FSSAI has also started monitoring the safety aspects of the bags, the Indian Express reported.
The initiative comes after a recent report that found the use and import of plastic grocery packaging is increasing.
A report by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) found that in the year since the launch of the country’s first plastic grocery packing bags in February, India has seen the first increase in cases of the bacterial food poisoning that the virus has caused.
The report said that India’s case rates of food borne pathogens have been increasing by about 10 percent annually, with an average increase of 17 percent per year.
It is also estimated that more than 1.5 million cases of bacterial foodborne illness have been reported in India each year since 2015.