Nadda is Union minister of health and family welfare
NEW DELHI: In a bid to strengthen food safety systems in each state such as laboratories and enforcement infrastructure, states should use funds from National Health Mission (NHM), said the Union minister of health and family welfare, JP Nadda during a meeting with state health ministers and the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India.
“Central Government is providing support to the tune of Rs 482 crore for the states. As many as 45 state labs are to be strengthened. I request the states to come forward with the proposals or give us the plan for strengthening the laboratories,” said Nadda adding that finance will not be a constraint and each state should have at least one government food laboratory of high quality.
Food borne diseases impose a huge economic burden on India amounting to as much as 0.5% of India’s GDP or about $28 billion, according to researchers present at the meeting.
All state health ministers, present during the meeting, agreed to the use of appropriate curriculum content on food and nutrition in schools to promote healthy eating habits and build awareness. States will also launch sustained campaigns in cities, districts and states under the banner of Safe and Nutritious Food (SNF) to develop city, district and state-wide ecosystems and declare them smart food state, city or district.
AP / TELENGANA
The health authorities have decided to adopt a seven-point charter to address issues that have impeded food safety
Hyderabad: For the first time in Telangana, the State government is set to implement a broad framework aimed at putting in place a fool-proof mechanism for safe and nutritious food for all.
To this effect, the health authorities have decided to adopt a seven-point charter to address issues that have impeded food safety and put in place a robust food control system at the State-level.
Participating in a round table meeting of State Health Ministers in New Delhi organised by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) on Tuesday, Health Minister, Dr. C. Laxma Reddy said the State government is committed to improve food safety and very soon these measures will be grounded.
Recognising the need to improve infrastructure, the State government has decided to upgrade State Food Laboratories (SFL) by roping-in manpower and equipment and get certification from National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL).
The SFL will become part of the Indian Food Laboratory Network (InFoLNet) to ensure seamless flow of information and in the process instil confidence among public and food business.
Among the many decisions, the authorities have also decided to tap into the available funds with Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to upgrade the SFLs. The authorities will procure major lab equipment, set up microbiology laboratory and renovate infrastructure at a cost of Rs 10 crore.
In addition to all this, authorities will also utilise resources to start mobile food testing laboratories dubbed as ‘Food Safety on Wheels’ with a cost of nearly Rs. 40 lakh and an additional Rs. 5 lakh every year towards petrol and oil expenses.
The authorities have also decided to address the issue of micro-nutrient deficiency by adopting fortified staples like rice and flour with iron and iodine in mid-day meal scheme and in Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS). In due course, activities like promoting organic food, launching campaign with focus on youngsters to adopt a healthy lifestyle.
PATNA: Bihar Dietetic Association (BDA) on Wednesday said people of the state were forced to consume substandard food as there was no regular inspection against adulteration in Bihar.
The association members alleged that the Combined Food and Drug Laboratory at Agamkuan in Patna to check food adulteration has been non-functional for the past many months. “Nobody checks if the norms for food safety are being followed by vendors or the companies that provide processed food in the state,” said association’s secretary Sudhakar Mishra. The samples from Bihar, he claimed, are sent to Kolkata for test.
Mishra requested the state government to get regular inspections conducted by the health department’s food safety wing to ensure that the companies with the licence to manufacture processed food were selling items as per standards fixed for them.
Talking to newsmen at a workshop conducted at Nalanda Medical College and Hospital (NMCH), he said, “People in India focus only on quantity and not on quality of the food they consume.”
The association, he said, wants to ensure that the food being consumed is checked for adulteration.
Sources in the food safety wing said there were only 14 food safety officers for 38 districts in the state. The official also said although the laboratory faced problems in the past as well, it had been functional for the past six months with regular inspections being carried out for adulteration. “The allegations are not true,” an official said.
Food safety inspector Mukesh Kashyap, when asked about routine inspections, said as per the norms followed by the food safety wing, every food safety officer collects 10 samples from different areas every month for routine inspection. “Inspections are also carried out extensively during festive seasons,” said Kashyap.
HardCastle Restaurants, which runs the McDonald’s franchise in Southern and Western states said they are looking into the matter seriously.
According to the Food Safety Standards Act, hotels and restaurants should see to it that the kitchen conditions, as well as the cleanliness and hygiene of the chefs should be of good standard. (Photo: PTI)
Mumbai: The state Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned popular quick service restaurant McDonald’s as one of its outlets in the central region of the city has allegedly breached food safety standards.
The FDA had reportedly conducted a “surprise check” on the McDonald’s outlet in High Street Phoenix at Lower Parel for alleged violation of the Food Safety Standards Act, by cooking in unhygienic conditions, and for not displaying its licence copy prominently.
They subsequently sent a warning notice to the restaurant chain, saying if the conditions were not improved over the next 15 days stern action will be taken.
HardCastle Restaurants, which runs the McDonald’s franchise in the Southern and Western states said they are looking into the matter seriously.
“As a part of a routine investigation we have received some queries from the FDA. We have already submitted our response to the points raised,” the company said in a statement on Wednesday.
According to the Food Safety Standards Act, hotels and restaurants should see to it that the kitchen conditions, as well as the cleanliness and hygiene of the chefs should be of good standard.
TIRUPUR: The Food Safety and Drug Administration (FSDA) started its second phase of enrolment camps for food business operators (FBO) in the district on Tuesday at CM Unavagam in Palladam. The enrolment drive would end on January 12.
The FSDA asked FBOs to use e-services, which was launched on Monday, for registration and for getting licences.
Till now, 65% of the 18,585 FBOs in the district have either registered or submitted applications for the purpose. “With the first phase of special enrolment camps held last month, Tirupur FSDA was able to increase the percentage of enrolled entities from 46% to 65%. The state food commissioner has fixed January 15 as the deadline to achieve 100% registration,” said K Tamil Selvan, designated officer of Tirupur FSDA.
“For registration or to obtain licence, the FBOs could submit application at the common e-services centres (CSC) with the required documents and registration fees. The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) started the online services for the purpose in Tamil Nadu on Monday,” said Tamil Selvan.
As per the FSSAI norms, the food selling entities, from hawker to business class hotels, should pay Rs 100 as an annual registration fee if it has a turnover under Rs 12 lakh and 2,000 if the turnover exceeds Rs 12 lakh.
In case of the food manufacturing units, the registration fee is Rs 3,000 if the total production is less than one tonne a day and Rs 5,000 for 1-2 tonnes a day.
Earlier, the FSSAI wanted the FSDA to get all FBOs registered or obtained licences before the last year. But around 50% of the entities across the state were yet to enrol.
The enrolment would help the department to keep a tab on the quality of foods produced and sold in the FBOs. So, the FSDA was carrying out door-to-door campaigns to create awareness. “If the FBOs fail to come forward for registration, we would serve them with legal notices,” Tamil Selvan added.