Adulterated food items flood Hyderabad markets: Here’re some safety tips

According to National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data, Hyderabad witnessed more cases of food adulteration in the country than any other city in 2022

Hyderabad: Concerns are mounting as reports of adulterated food items continue to surge in Hyderabad, alarming both residents and regulatory authorities. The trend, which spans across small hotels, roadside vendors, popular restaurants, and supermarkets, has raised serious questions about food safety standards in the city.

The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data released in December last year marked Hyderabad in the first place for the number of reported cases of food adulteration in the country. Throughout 2022, as many as 291 cases related to food adulteration were reported across 19 major cities in India.

The data suggested Hyderabad alone recorded a staggering 246 cases, giving rise to worry about food safety within the city. 

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Even after conducting a slew of crackdowns in recent times and seizing large quantities of adulterated products, GHMC officials claim this is just the tip of the iceberg.

The adulterated essential commodities, including tea, coffee, sugar, milk, honey, spices, oils, ice creams, and food grains, have flooded local markets. These food items are being brazenly sold in the markets, according to the officials.

Recently, the Hyderabad city police arrested five fruit vendors in a week for selling adulterated mangoes, which were ripened using chemicals.

Before that, on February 24, police busted a large-scale adulteration racket where a gang was found manufacturing various adulterated household items, from Parachute coconut oil to Brooke Bond Red Label and from Surf Excel to Everest spices in Hyderabad.

Following the raids, the authorities announced that these items had been supplied to supermarkets and shops by counterfeiting the brand names.

Meanwhile, vice-president of the United Federation of RWAs, Shiva Kiran, urged the GHMC officials to “intensify their raids against food products and check their quality.” He also urged people to be aware of these issues.

Considering the contemporary consequences of how adulterated food items are supplied everywhere, people must be aware of the techniques for recognising adulterated food items. Here is how you can do it in easy steps as per FSSAI guidelines:

Watermelon test

  • Cut the watermelon into two halves.
  •  Take a cotton ball and rub it in the inner succulent parts of the watermelon.

Note that the cotton ball rubbed on the unadulterated watermelon does not change color, and the cotton ball rubbed on the adulterated watermelon turns red.

Green vegetable test

  • Take a cotton piece soaked in liquid paraffin.
  •  Rub or dab the outer green surface of a small part of the vegetable.

Note that if the cotton piece turns green, the vegetable is adulterated.

Tea leaves test

  • Take a filter paper.
  •  Place some tea leaves at the center of the filter paper.
  •  Drop water on the heap of tea leaves, drop by drop.

Note that if color streaks are observed on the filter paper, the tea leaves are adulterated. The filter paper with adulterated tea leaves will have blackish-brown streaks.

Sweet potato test

  • Take a cotton ball soaked in water or vegetable oil.
  •  Rub the outer surface of the sweet potato with the cotton ball.

Note that the cotton ball rubbed on the adulterated sweet potato will change color.

Green peas test

  • Take some green peas in a transparent glass and add water.
  •  Mix well and wait for 30 minutes.

Note that adulterated green peas will always turn the water a green color.

For more information on how to recognise adulterated food items, visit

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