Shortage of staff hampering enforcement of Food Safety Act

Shortage of Food Safety Officers has come in the way of enforcement of provisions listed under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, putting food safety and public health in jeopardy.

Published: 05th June 2019 09:11 AM  |   Last Updated: 05th June 2019 09:11 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

HYDERABAD:  Shortage of Food Safety Officers has come in the way of enforcement of provisions listed under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, putting food safety and public health in jeopardy. Ever since the food safety on wheels initiative was launched in the State early last year, the initiative was meant to enforce  Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) norms as per the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006.

The multipurpose mobile laboratory will also be used to conduct training and certification programme for food handlers and supervisors in food business, particularly petty food business. The mobile units would also be used for awareness building around food safety, hygiene and promoting healthy eating habits in citizens. 

Every month, the food safety on wheels truck conducts ten awareness programmes across the State. Though an enforcement officer accompanies the truck, no cases were registered as per officials. “We are only concentrating on creating awareness and not on enforcement,”  an FSSAI official said. 

This is despite the fact that the number of violations found through testing on ‘wheels’ is high. “The most common form of violations is adding food colour in not just cooked food but also candies that children eat,” an official said. In just this year, the number of registration of food operators has increased from 11,490 to 19,049 till March. 

Considering the high number of adulterations found in rural areas, the officials are now mulling to register cases for adulterations found through food safety on wheels. “Our national body has asked us to register cases for food adulteration found during awareness programmes to enable better compliance,’’ said Laxmi Narayana, food safety on wheels in-charge.

No cases registered
Ever since the food safety on wheels initiative was launched in the State early last year, the initiative was meant to enforce  FSSAI norms. Every month, the food safety on wheels truck conducts ten awareness programmes. Though an enforcement officer accompanies the truck, no cases were registered.

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