Pointing out the possibility of food contamination from printing ink or other harmful carcinogenic chemicals, central food regulator FSSAI has issued an advisory suggesting restricted use of newspapers and cardboard boxes for packaging food items, including snacks.
"Newspaper should not be used to wrap, cover and serve food or to absorb excess oil from fried food. There is an urgent need to discourage use of newspapers as packaging material by creating awareness among businesses, especially unorganised food business operators, and consumers on its harmful effects," a Food Safety and Standards Authority of India advisory said.
The advisory, sent to food safety commissioners of all states, has asked them to take "suitable steps" to restrict use of newspapers for food packaging.
"I request the public to dissuade vendors from using newspapers," health minister Jagat Prakash Nadda tweeted after the FSSAI advisory was issued. The advisory will be followed by an active campaign and inspection of local food outlets by food inspectors. It emphasised that newspaper ink can raise serious health hazards as it contains multiple bioactive materials with known negative effects.