BHUBANESWAR: The State got its first Mobile Food Testing Laboratory (MFTL) on Wednesday. Referred to as food safety on wheels, the van will be used to conduct tests for common adulterants in all products.Health and Family Welfare Minister Pratap Jena flagged off the van on the premises of Odisha State Medical Corporation Limited (OSMCL) here on Wednesday.Introduced by Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) in 2016-17, the one-of-its-kind mobile food testing laboratory, which costs around `36 lakh is equipped with gadgets like milk analyser, hot air oven, hot plate, mixer grinder, digital weighing scale and air conditioner besides test equipment.
“The mobile laboratory will help spot testing of adulteration in common food items, including milk products, prepared food and non-permitted colours. Testing of common adulteration can instill confidence in the local population while strengthening the hand of enforcement machinery,” Jena said.The van that comes up with a LCD set and mike will not only examine the food samples, but also create awareness among people at large congregations and schools about food adulteration. It will educate consumers in various aspects of food safety and common hygienic practices. People can also ask queries to the officials present in the van.
While FSSAI will provide `5 lakh per year for next three years for operation of the van, the State Government will bear the maintenance and transport expenses. A lab technician, lab assistant, helper and driver have been deployed on the van.“The mobile van would be regularly monitored to ensure that the services were being provided satisfactorily,” the Health Minister added. Among others, Health Secretary Dr Pramod Meherda, Director of National Health Mission Shalini Pandit and Food Safety Commissioner Archana Patnaik were present.