The food regulator stated that the safety of the adhesive used for pasting such stickers was unknown, and therefore, it is advised to avoid use of stickers.
Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has directed the fruit and vegetable traders to avoid putting stickers on food products as it could lead to contamination. The food regulator stated that the safety of the adhesive used for pasting such stickers was unknown, and therefore, it is advised to avoid the use of stickers.
FSSAI has put out an advisory through a guidance note. It explained that the stickers in Indian context were only used to either hide any decay or the brand name, which is contrary to the stickers' use in the developed world, wherein they consisted of information about traceability, grades, prices, etc.
"However, it was observed that in India the traders use the stickers to make their product look premium, and sometimes hide the decay or defect the product. Brand name, tested OK or best quality are some common terms mentioned on stickers, which do not have any significance," FSSAI added.
The note said, "The adhesive may contain harmful chemicals which may affect human health, as the skin of fruits and vegetables are porous and the residue can percolate inside. The health risk of consuming these adhesives are high in case of fruits and vegetable consumed with skin."