Now days, packaged food is gaining popularity in our day to day life as its saves a lot of time and effort. It is very popular amongst students and employees who have migrated to a city for their studies and jobs. These packaged foods are mostly ready to eat and last for longer period under specified conditions.
The major question that arises is - Are packaged foods are really good for health?
National Consumer Helpline is sharing some useful tips while buying packaged food :
1. Check expiry dates use before, best before date, month and year before purchase.
2. Non-vegetarian, vegetarian food package should display brown and green symbol respectively.
3. List of ingredients has to be declared in descending order of ongoing weight or volume.
4. The amount of nutrient for which a health claim is made has to be declared on the label.
5. If Oil / Ghee (Hydrogenated Vegetable Fat) is used in preparation of any food, declaration that it contains Trans fatty Acid (Trans Fat should) be given on the label.
6. Packaged water/mineral water must have ISI mark.
7. Every packaged food product should have name and address of manufacturer, packer, importer, customer care address, phone number, E-mail address.
8. Packaged food articles must be properly sealed.
9. Canned food articles should be free from leaks, cracks and bulging.
10. Always check the pack or the container whatever you buy visually. Check that the packets are not puffed or cans are not rusted.
11. In case of food with a shelf life of more than seven days, the date of manufacture may not be required to be mentioned on the label of packaged food articles, the use by date mentioned on the label by the manufacturer of packer will suffice
12 Make sure the packaged foods are produced from well known or trusted company for its quality. Check the manufacturing data and expiry date on packet and ingredients. Prefer to buy the fresh and recently produced food.
13. Foods without preservative or class-I preservative are preferable.
If we follow the above mentioned 13 guidelines, one can be said to lead a healthy and safe living.