NEW DELHI: The Centre has decided to invite members of the public to get any food item tested for unsafe ingredients after it emerged that not a single complaint has been filed with country’s top food regulator under a special Act introduced 11 years ago.
As per the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) Act, if food purchased by a person is established as adulterated, the cost of getting it tested is reimbursed. “In a recent FSSAI audit by the CAG, it emerged that there has not been a single complaint received under the Act and therefore, we have decided to widely advertise the provision,” an official in the Union health ministry said.
“Any individual can get suspicious food products tested at FSSAI laboratories. But since it’s a time-consuming procedure, most people shy away from doing so,” he said. “The process costs between `2,000 and `5,000, depending on the food product.” FSSAI sources said thousands of tests are done at its labs. “None of them are done on complaints by consumers. Public participation is must to enhance food safety standards,” an official said.