India is a country that runs on tea in the form of fuel, and tea bags are available for public use almost everywhere, including office pantry and trains. Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), taking into account the widespread use of tea bags, has taken cognizance of the potentially harmful staple pins used in packaging of tea leaves in tea bags and demanding ban on pins is. The government agency issued a notification to the Food Business Operators (FBO) on Wednesday, in which a ban on the use of staple pins in the tea bag has been sought by June 30 this year. Taking a firm stand on this issue, the FSSAI has asked FBO to stop the production, storage, distribution and sale of tea bags with staple pin notified by the time-limit. This is the second notification of FSSAI on the issue of use of staple pin in Tea Bag.
Earlier, the agency had issued a notification last year stating that it will ban the use of staple pins in the tea bags from January 2019. This notification was released due to the concern that any loose staple pin used to make tea can be used unknowingly, the consumer, leading to serious health implications for them. In response to the notification, FBOs also raised the issue of high cost of production of staple-less tea bags. FBOs cited the problem of switching on staple-less packing machines and the problem of the unavailability of these machines because there are very few manufacturers in the world for these machines.
However, the FSSAI is out of the possibility of a ‘blanket expansion’, stating that extensions can be given a case-to-case basis, but only by companies of commitment to switch to a specific time frame, to review the evidence after. The Food Authority has also asked the tea bag manufacturing units to furnish the machines to the manufacturers, it is not yet known whether the case of accident of a person prompted the Food Authority to issue notification.
If intake is done, then the metal staple pin can lead to injury in the gums or internal bleeding and other resulting health complications. Notorious T-Bags are a viable option for staple tea bags, but they are rarely available in markets around the world.