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EDUCATION

“Allergens not regulated as food hazards by FSSAI yet,” says Salunkhe
Thursday, 05 October, 2017, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Prashant Nikale, Mumbai
There are four main food hazards - chemical hazards, biological hazards, physical hazards and allergens. Of these, allergens are not yet regulated as hazards by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), the country’s apex food regulator. This was stated by Yogita Salunkhe, senior executive, Envirocare Labs.

She was one of the trainers at the Food Safety Training and Certificate (FoSTaC) training programme on Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), Food Safety Supervisor Advance Catering, which took place at Korum Mall, Thane, recently.

The others were Krishna Dabhade, assistant commissioner, FDA Thane, and Vivekanand C, business head, Parikshan. It was organised by Envirocare Labs, FSSAI’s training partner, with the support of the Food and Drugs Association (FDA) Maharashtra, and attended by 28 representatives of different food business operators (FBOs).

Envirocare Labs was also represented by Nilesh Amritkar, its managing director, and Deepa Sudesh, its executive assistant, while the mall was represented by Santosh Nair, its centre head. The session was inaugurated by Suresh Deshmukh, joint commissioner, FDA, Konkan region, who unveiled the Safe and Nutritious Food mascots, Miss Sehat and Master Sehat.

Dabhade said, “When you go to a medical store, there is a pharmacist, who is an expert in the field. Likewise, we also need experts to helm food businesses, and monitor and analyse the good practices to ensure that the food we are consuming is healthy.”

Concurring with him, Salunkhe said, “According to Schedule IV of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, it is mandatory for every food business operator (FBO) to have a trained food safety supervisor who will ensure that good hygiene practices are adhered to at the workplace.”

The training programme included a host of topics, such as hazard identification and risk assessment, location, layout, food testing facilities, audit, personal hygiene, product information and consumer awareness. All the sessions were activity-based.

Salunkhe introduced the participants to the six main safety norms - hazard identification and risk assessment; determining the critical control points; establishing critical limits, on the basis of which corrective actions can be taken, establishing verification procedures to ensure further safety, and the documentation of these for future reference.

Vivekanand said, “FBOs should purchase their raw materials from certified vendors only. A certified vendor is one who has an FSSAI license, a certificate of analysis and a certificate of guarantee and should give a proper invoice of purchase.”

“In case of imported goods, the importer should have an FSSAI importer’s license and a custom inbound clearance certificate. These certificates ensure the quality of the product purchased,” he added.

It was discussed that FBOs need to have a water potability report for licensing, and the samples should be collected by the laboratories only. It should comply with the standards set by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) IS10500 for drinking water, IS 14543 for packaged drinking water and IS13428 for mineral water.

Dabhade said, “During our licensing drive, we had experienced that FBOs provided packaged water for testing, so we needed a solution for that.”

“Thus, FSSAI came up with the solution that the samples should be collected by labs accredited by the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration of Laboratories (NABL) and certified by the apex regulator only,” he added.

An examination was conducted on the basis of the sessions, and the participants were given FSSAI FoSTaC certificates.

Amritkar proposed the vote of thanks to all those who participated in the training programme and encouraged them to apply it practically at their workplaces.
 
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