The Department of Food Technology and Quality Control (DoFTQC) has sealed a total of 35 factories related to food items and water production and processing within the first four months of the current fiscal year.

The department published its four-month report yesterday, revealing that it sealed 35 firms for producing substandard food items.

According to the report, 15 were water processing factories, eight were factories producing and processing food items, six were dairy shops, three factories were producing and processing cooking oil and ghee, while three others were related to food packaging.

Meanwhile, the department has filed 26 cases against factories producing substandard products. Among them, eight cases are related to producing substandard food items, seven cases related to poor food hygiene practice, seven cases of selling date expired food items while four cases are related to illegal imports and distribution.

DoFTQC has been operating from its central office in Kathmandu, as well as 24 other divisional offices and 12 food import/export quality certifying offices located in different districts.

The department has collected a total of 1,189 samples of food, water, feed and cooking oil, among which 70 samples were found to be substandard. Similarly, via offices set up at customs, a total of 25,154 samples were tested in the review period.

Meanwhile, the department has also decided to set a standard of 12 food items that include six items of beans, pulses, ice-creams, frozen desserts, khuwa, chhurpi and dairy whitener. Once the standards are set up, these food items will be tested based on the guidelines during its import and export.