Many studies have already shown that wrapping food in newspapers could be extremely unhealthy and unsafe for consumption. And now, the Food, Safety and Standard Authority of India (FSSAI) too issued an advisory warning that such unhealthy practices can be injurious to health.
Actually, the ink used in newspapers has multiple bioactive materials that are already known for harmful health effects. When the food is wrapped in papers, the ink easily gets leached into it. The same food can have potential risk to health when consumed. Moreover, the solvent used to dissolve ink on the paper can be potentially carcinogenic.
“Wrapping food in newspapers is an unhealthy practice and the consumption of such food is injurious to health, even if the food has been cooked hygienically,” the Food, Safety and Standard Authority of India (FSSAI) said in an advisory.
“Printing inks may also contain harmful colours, pigments, binders, additives, and preservatives. Besides chemical contaminants, presence of pathogenic micro organisms in used newspapers also poses potential risk to human health,” the advisory said.
According to the advisory, even the paper/cardboard boxes made of recycled paper may be contaminated with injurious chemicals such as phthalate that can cause digestive problems and also lead to severe toxicity.
“Older people, teenagers, children and people with compromised vital organs and immune systems are at a greater risk of acquiring cancer-related health complications, if they are exposed to food packed in such material,” the advisory warned.
The advisory was issued after Health Minister JP Nadda’s directed to the food regulatory authority against the practice of wrapping and covering food items in newspapers in India.
“It has been observed that vendors have been using newspapers in packing and serving food, which is harmful. I urge the public to dissuade the vendors from doing so,” said JP Nadda.
The Commissioners of Food Safety of all States/Union Territories will start systematic campaigns to bring awareness among all the stakeholders and to put off the use of newspapers for packing, serving and storing food items.
If you require something to absorb or soak unnecessary oil from fried foods, try using either tissue paper or kitchen paper towels. And you must opt for white plain papers instead of newspapers.