THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The state government would introduce lab facilities at the border checkposts for testing milk, milk products and edible oils that would be brought to the state during the Onam season, Health Minister V S Sivakumar said on Monday.
Food products would be allowed into the state only after inspection. The services of the field officers of the health department would be made available to the food safety wing during the season, Sivakumar said, after a meeting held here to review the steps taken to prevent the in-flow of pesticide-ridden and adulterated food materials during Onam.
The food safety wing, Tamil Nadu, had begun issuing food safety certificates to traders who despatched vegetables and fruits to Kerala, the minister said. Recently, Kerala had conveyed its concerns to the Tamil Nadu government regarding the dangerous levels of pesticides in fruit and vegetable consignments coming from that state. Sivakumar said that the food safety wing would intensify raids and inspections in the markets during the Onam season. Food Safety Commissioner T V Anupama, Joint Commissioner D Ashrafudeen, Health director Dr S Jayasankar and Additional Director S Ramesh attended the meet.
‘State Ahead in Registration’
More than half of the food business operators in the state had obtained either the food safety licence or registration, Health Minister V S Sivakumar said on Monday. Compared to other states, Kerala was far ahead in registering food businesses, he said. The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) had made licences compulsory for food businesses that had an annual turnover of `12 lakh and above, and registration for smaller businesses.