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Adulteration of food or drink intended for sale

What amounts to adulteration of food or drink intended for sale

'Adulteration' means mixing with any other substance whether wholly different or of the same kind but of inferior quality. Mere adulteration with harmless ingredients for the purpose of getting more profit is not punishable. It is essential to show that that an article of food or drink has been adulterated and that it was intended to be sold, or knowing that it would be likely to be sold as food or drink.


Whoever adulterates any food or drinks intended for sale shall be punished with imprisonment which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or both.

Besides the CRPC the Food Adulteration Act, makes provisions for the prevention of adulteration of food. Food inspectors appointed by the Central and State Governments are empowered to take samples from any person selling, conveying or delivering such article to a purchaser or consignee, and from a consignee after receiving delivery, and send such sample to the public analyst.

A purchaser of any article of food, or a recognized consumer association, may also get an article of food analyzed by the public analyst on payment of the prescribed fees, provided that the vendor is informed of this intended action at the time of purchase. Thereafter, the purchaser or the consumer associations, have to follow the same procedure as discussed above in the case of Food Inspectors. If the article of food is found to be adulterated, the fees paid by the purchaser or the association shall be refunded.

Import, manufacture, storage, sale or distribution of any food article which is adulterated by allowing its quality or purity to fall below the prescribed standard, or is misbranded, or in contravention of any provision of the Act or Rules. Penalty is minimum imprisonment of six months that may extend up to 3 years and minimum fine of Rs 1000 under the Food Adulteration Act.

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