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A total of 131 kg of curd selling under the brand Amul has been recalled from the open market in Gujarat after the Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) received complaints from consumers in the Kutch district.

JP Khorasiya, District Epidemiologist of Kutch, told reporters that around 600 people had taken ill over the past two days after consuming “contaminated” pouches of Amul buttermilk and milk. He further said he had alerted local officers of the Food and Drug Control Administration of Gujarat. He said people had fallen in ill Kutch district’s talukas like Abdasa, Mundra, and Bhuj among others.

“There are news reports that consumers in the Kutch district have fallen ill after consuming buttermilk and curd. As per information, people have been hospitalised after consuming mineral water laden with bacteria. It is shameful that this incident has been connected with Amul,” stated a joint statement from Sarhad Dairy and GCMMF.

Sarhad Dairy is operated by one of the 18 unions that form GCMMF. The GCMMF admitted to receiving consumer complaints with regard to curd manufactured by Sarhad Dairy sold under the Amul brand. “Amul has not received any complaints about any person falling ill after consuming buttermilk. But three-four complaints have been received from consumers who consumed curd from one kg and 400-milligram pouches. However, after testing samples, it has been found the curd sample, taken from the batch having complaint, was fit for consumption,” the statement added.

GCMMF also admitted it has recalled “unsold” curd from the open market as a precautionary measure. “However, after receiving complaints, 131 kg of curd (from the batch where complaints were reported) was recalled from the market as a precautionary measure,” the statement underlined, without mentioning the date or batch number of the product that was recalled.

Of the total 15,000 kg of curd produced in a day (by Sarhad Dairy), it further stated, 3,780 kg was from a batch for which complaints were received. A total of 3,649 kg of curd has been sold through various distributors and retailers. “Of this, only 252 kg of curd sold by three distributors got complaints, restricted to 8-10 kg. No complaints have been received for the 3,772 kg of curd already sold in the market,” it added.

The joint statement also said that the samples from the recalled 131 kg of curd were tested in the laboratory of Sarhad Dairy and no problems were found with regard to the quality. It added that the quality of curd in the pouches — that prompted complaints — would also depend on when it was bought, the conditions it was stored in, and if the requisite temperature was maintained till consumption.

In a video message, Nirav Gosai, assistant general manager of Sarhad Dairy, stated the dairy procures milk from farmers in Kutch and sells milk, buttermilk, and curd under the Amul brand in Kutch and areas outside the district. “We got to know about complaints in buttermilk and curd from messages on social media over the last two days. We don’t know if the complaints are with regard to Amul milk. But, after getting two-three random complaints with regard to curd, we have tried to solve the issue in a sensitive manner. The control samples of the concerned batches have been tested and we have only been able to recall 107 pouches that were yet to be sold. This is part of the 15,000 kg of curd we produce every day. The tests revealed the products adhered to the norms and there were no deficiencies in quality,” Gosai said.

Source : Indian Express 23rd Aug 2023

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