A section of dishonest businessmen is producing substandard vermicelli and marketing those widely across the country ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr, posing a serious health risk.
Adulterated vermicelli is being produced in manually-operated machines in unhygienic conditions and fraudulent traders are marketing those products using the names of renowned vermicelli brands, sources said.
Nilufa Hoque, director (Standards) of Bangladesh Standard & Testing Institute (BSTI), told the Daily Sun that some dishonest businessmen are producing adulterated vermicelli without following the standards set by BSTI.
She said they have conducted drives against the adulterated vermicelli producing factories across the country, adding that adulterated vermicelli is being marketed in the names of famous brands.
On Wednesday, BSTI in association with Bogra district administration seized 3 sacks of fake lachaa vermicelli and 300 kgs of illegal lachaa vermicelli during a drive at Dharampur in Bogra.
Azmeri Food products was producing fake and substandard vermicelli and packaging those in the name of Romania, Bonoful, Rizik and Kutumbari branded vermicelli products.
Executive magistrate Sahadat Hossain has directed the authorities concerned to file a regular case against the owner Md. Khorshed Alam.
The mobile court led by executive magistrate Anisur Rahman also destroyed 190 packs of lacha vermicelli during the drive near Modhumati model town of Hemayetpur in Savar.
Adulterated vermicelli is produced secretly in the factories keeping the main entrance locked from behind.
There are allegations that some unauthorized mills have long been carrying out such illegal business by managing some dishonest officials of the departments concerned.
Such illegal factories have mushroomed in different outskirts of the capital and other cities and districts.
While visiting several makeshift factories in Savar, it was seen that workers were making vermicelli in an unhygienic environment. They were mixing the ingredients with dirty bare hands in dirty and shabby places.
Low-quality flours, ghee and burnt soybean oil are being used to produce substandard vermicelli. Such vermicelli is dried in the sun in the open space and dust gather on the food easily.
Artificial colours and flavours containing harmful chemicals, substandard oil, animal fat, and butter oil are widely being used in the production of fake vermicelli.