A month after 450 children from the Kurla-based Anjuman Noorul Urdu High School fell ill due to food poisoning in their midday meal, the India Food and Drug Administration (FDA) report indicates that the quantity of food color used in the cakes was extremely high.
FDA officials said that the food color used was over four times higher than the permissible limits. “The yellow food color, also known as Tartrazine, was found beyond permissible limits in the seized cake samples. While the permissible limit allowed for human consumption is 100 parts per million (ppm), the lab results stated that the cakes had food colour exceeding up to 438 ppm,” said Suresh Annapure, joint commissioner (food), FDA.
Tartrazine belongs to a family of artificial azo dyes and is known to cause allergic and intolerance reactions, especially in asthmatics. Excess consumption of Tartrazine induces anxiety, migraine, depression, blurred vision, itching, general weakness, heatwaves and suffocation. The FDA will now prosecute Parivartan Sansthan, the midday meal contractor of the school and the owner of Alfala bakery.