Packing food items in newspapers is bad for your health as its ink has multiple bioactive materials with known negative health effects, The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) said.
India’s food regulator has issued an advisory stating that the use of newspapers for wrapping and packing of food items, a common practice by street vendors, poses a health hazard. The regulator expressed concern over “Indians being slowly poisoned” by cancer-causing agents in newspaper ink.
“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,” 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.
The advisory also said that even paper/cardboard boxes made of recycled paper may be contaminated with harmful chemicals like phthalate which 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 comes after Health Minister J.P. Nadda’s directions to the food regulatory authority against the practice of wrapping and covering food items in newspapers in India.