In the wake of a student’s death in Thiruvananthapuram as a result of food poisoning, food security officers (food inspectors) are rushing to various food outlets across the state for inspection.
However, inspecting the thousands of food outlets in the state seems to be an impossible task for 74 food security officers (food inspectors) in the state under the Food Safety Commission.
The food safety measures were earlier based on the Madras Public Health Act 1939 and Travancore Public Health Act 1955.
But are outdated in the fast-food era. However, the Acts had an advantage that they directed health inspectors to check the hygienic condition and food safety of local food outlets.
And there was no shortage of officials. After the implementation of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, food inspectors are doing this job.
“If the activities of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 are combined with the Public Health Department, the implementation of the Act will become more effective. There are health inspectors at panchayat-level and health supervisors and junior health inspectors at taluk level,” said a member of the Kerala Health Inspectors Union.
According to him, the union has also demanded combining the activities of both the DMO and the Food Commissioner by establishing a directorate under the Health Secretary for food control.