Concerned about the risks stapled tea bags pose to public health, the food quality regulator the Food Safety and Standard Authority of India (FSSAI) has banned use of staple pins in tea bags effective January 1, 2018.
The FSSAI in an order said, “Taking cognizance of risk to public safety in using staple pin in tea bags by some food business operators (FBOs), the food authority hereby directs the concerned FBOs to discontinue the manufacture, storage, distribution, sale and import of stapled tea bags by January 1, 2018.”
“This is a good move and takes Indian companies towards adopting international standards. Staple pins are a potential health hazard and are banned in most advanced countries,” said Priti M Kapadia, Director, World Tea Coffee Expo Mumbai, India’s only annual trade fair dedicated to the tea and coffee sector, scheduled to be held between November 15 and 18.
At present, there are two types of tea bags available in the market — stapled and knotted. The Tea (Marketing) Control Order, 2003 defines tea bags as packet containing tea in bags made of filter paper, nylon net and / or any other acceptable material conforming to international norms and standards, for brewing of tea liquor by direct immersion of such bag in hot or cold water.