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Wrapping food in newspaper a health hazard

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Wrapping food items in newspaper is bad for your health as its ink has multiple bio-active materials with known negative health effects. 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.

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Printing inks may also contain harmful colors, 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 FSSAI has stated that there is an urgent need to discourage the use of newspaper as food packaging material by creating awareness among businesses, especially unorganized food business operators, about the harmful effects. The regulator has instructed the commissioners of food safety across the country to initiate an awareness campaign to this effect.

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