Food joints to come under FSSAI scanner soon
The district-level structure of Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) will have a full swing functioning soon. Even though the Authority came into effect throughout the country in August last year, the district-level structure was not functioning due to shortage of staff.
The district-level structure consists of Food Safety Officers (FSO) in each taluk, a designated officer at district-level and an adjudicating officer. The adjudicating officer is the Additional Deputy Commissioner of the district and the District Surveillance Officer (DSO) is given the charge of the district-level designated officer of the Authority.
Currently, due to lack of manpower, FSOs from other districts are given charge of the taluks in Dakshina Kannada from January onwards. The FSO of Tarikere taluk in Chikmagalur district is looking after the matters in Mangalore and Belthangady taluks.
FSO of Kollegal taluk in Mysore is in charge of Bantwal, Sullia and Puttur taluks in the district.
Speaking to Deccan Herald, District Surveillance Officer Dr Rajesh B V, who is the district-level designated officer, said that the State Government is likely to call for the posts of FSOs in State soon.
“The act is only partially implemented in the State due to lack of FSOs,” he said and added that the total FSOs in the State are below 50 per cent of which is actually required and by the month of August, we hope the vacancies will be filled.”
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has been established under Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, which consolidates various acts and orders that have hitherto regulated food related issues in various Ministries and Departments.
FSSAI has been created as a statutory body for laying down science-based standards for articles of food and to regulate their manufacture, storage, distribution, sale and import to ensure availability of safe and wholesome food for human consumption.
According to the act, all Food Business Operators (FBO) should be registered under FSSAI and obtain license. FBO includes hotels, permanent or temporary stallholders, hawkers, home based canteens, Dhabawalas, manufacturers, processors, re-packers, food stalls arrangements in religious gatherings, slaughterhouses, storage houses, retail and wholesale traders etc.
Milk producers who are not a member in the Dairy Co-operative societies should also register under the Authority.
License holders who already registered under any previous acts and expiry date have not over by August 5, can continue with the existing license. Once the date expires, they can register under the FSSAI.
District Surveillance Officer Dr Rajesh B V said that the authority already conducted meetings with various associations concerned including hotel owners’ association and Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industry. FSOs are distributing pamphlets regarding the registration process to different FBOs.
The FSSAI will soon launch awareness programme for Food Business Operators, media and public.