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FSSAI to roll out food safety inspection system to beef up compliance
Tuesday, 12 September, 2017, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Our Bureau, New Delhi
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is set to roll out a food safety inspection and sampling system in a bid to beef up compliance and enforcement of safe, hygienic and nutritious supply of food to the people.

This was stated by Pawan Kumar Agarwal, the country’s apex food regulator’s chief executive officer, who delivered the valedictory address at Massmerize 2017, the retail, fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) and e-commerce conference organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).

FSSAI is mandated to lay down scientific standards for articles of food and regulates their manufacture, storage, distribution, sale and import to ensure the availability of safe and wholesome food for human consumption.

Agarwal said that the regulator was striving to meet the rising expectations of the consumers for safe and quality food items, and the effort was to introduce technology, so that inspection was objective and credible.

In order to ensure compliance to the norms set out by the authority, he added that a credible food testing system was in place.

As many as 135 FSSAI-recognised food laboratories have been established by the private sector, apart from 90 government labs set up by the state governments and central agencies.

The FSSAI chief said that a new regulatory arrangement was being put in place to support the enforcement of regulations.

He added, “There is still a huge challenge of meeting the rising expectations of the people who are now more conscious about health and wellness. We hope we can move towards ensuring the trust of the people in the food products available in the market.”

In addition, FSSAI has set out to create awareness among children on healthy eating habits by joining hands with educational boards like the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT).

As part of broader plans, it has released the Yellow Book, which is aimed at children and details how to eat right.

It has been launched in three categories for children in different age groups, covers a range of topics (from food safety practices, personal hygiene and cleanliness habits and eating a balanced diet to packing a wholesome lunch box).

The book also lays emphasis on preventing nutritional deficiencies and making healthy choices.

The Yellow Book provides age-appropriate content that can be adopted across schools through state education machinery as a part of their curricular and co-curricular activities.

The topics have been formulated after discussions, consultations and extensive engagement with the partners.
 
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