A unit producing chocolates in Udhagamandalam was on Friday sealed by a team of officials from the Food Safety and Drug Administration and Health departments, after the proprietor of the unit, who also runs outlets in The Nilgiris where the chocolates are sold, allegedly advertised claims that dark chocolate boosts immunity against COVID-19.

S. Palanisami, Joint Director of Health Services, The Nilgiris district, said that action was taken after the District Collector received a complaint about the misleading advertisement.

A team of officials from both the Health as well as the Food Safety and Drug Administration departments visited the production unit and held inquiries.

Lack of proof

J. Thanga Vignesh, designated officer, Food Safety and Drug Administration Department, The Nilgiris, told The Hindu that the proprietor of the unit as well as the outlets selling the product, M&N Chocolates, had falsely advertised the “immunity-boosting” qualities of dark chocolate.

“We asked for proof for the claims made by the owner, but they were unable to provide any, other than a few articles from a website,” said Dr. Vignesh.

The production unit also had license only to manufacture bakery products and biscuits, and not chocolates, the officials said.

Samples of the chocolates were taken and sent for further testing.

“Once we get the results, we will take action against the owner of the facility under Section 61 of the Food Safety and Standards Act,” said Dr. Vignesh.

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