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January 2019

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Circular dated 25th January 2019 related to Intership starting in the month of March, 2018 under Internship Scheme 2018-19. (Uploaded on: 28.01.2019)

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Notice Calling for suggestion from stakeholders for inclusion of propective PG Diploma Courses as essential qualification for Direct Recruitment in FSSAI. (Uploaded on: 28.01.2019)

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Circular / Advt No:DR-01/2019 dated 25th January 2019 related to Filling up of various posts in the Food Safety and Standard Authority of India on Direct Recruitment basis and through transfer on deputation on foreign service terms / Short Term Contract/Contract basis. (Uploaded on: 26.01.2019)

Categories: NEWS

FSSAI conducting audit of slaughter houses for safe meat; report in March

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FSSAI has been conducting food safety audit of 40 municipal slaughter houses all over India under the “Clean and Safe Meat Campaign.” The campaign was launched recently for ensuring safe meat availability to consumers.
The audit is expected to be completed by February and its report is likely to come by March this year, according to a senior official privy to the development.  
Earlier, FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India) had issued a Request For Proposal (RFP) outlining the requirements for conducting audits of slaughter houses after its 23rd CAC (Central Advisory Committee) meeting held on September 7, 2018.
In this regard, states and Union territories across the country were asked to identify the municipal slaughter houses for conducting the audits. However, only 10 states or Union territories – Delhi, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Goa, Manipur, Uttarakhand and Chandigarh shared details on the subject.
While rest of the states did not respond, FSSAI states that in the case of other states which did not share the details, it has been decided that the selected audit agency may be asked to coordinate with the state authorities to identify municipal slaughter houses and conduct the audit.
“The states are requested to co-operate with the selected audit agency for conducting these audits successfully. The states may share the details with the agency under intimation to FSSAI,” says a statement by FSSAI.
According to FSSAI, the audit was being done to bring back trust and surety among consumers with respect to the meat. Further FSSAI had last year organised a meeting of important stakeholders in Delhi, to discuss all aspects that affect the quality and safety of meat and meat products either in direct or indirect way.
Representatives from Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI), Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries (DADF), Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), poultry meat industry (Godrej Tyson Foods Ltd and Venky’s Pvt. Ltd), animal meat industry (AOV Agro Foods Pvt. Ltd and Allana Sons Ltd), meat retail sectors (Grofers and Licious) and animal feed companies (Godrej Agrovet Ltd and Suguna Poultry Farm Ltd)  were present in the meeting.
In this meeting, issues related to Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and Good Hygienic Practices (GHP) in slaughter and meat processing units, training of meat handlers, eligibility of food business operators handling meat and meat products for obtaining FSSAI licence, role of animal feed in quality of meat and various existing and upcoming schemes, government schemes for upgradation of meat industry, especially, the unorganised sector were highlighted.
In the meeting, it was decided that food safety audit of meat units/ municipal slaughter houses will be conducted in coming three months in 40 cities expanded by third-party auditing agency. A mandatory food safety audit of the supply chain for e-commerce retail entities involved in retail of meat or meat products will also be conducted among others.
It is pertinent to mention here that FSSAI has notified Food Safety and Standards (Food Safety Auditing) Regulations, 2018, with effect from August 28, 2018, and have 22 recognised food safety auditing agencies as on date under various scopes of auditing. Out of these, 14 agencies are recognised for the scope of auditing slaughter houses.

Categories: NEWS

Teaotia appointed FSSAI chairperson; Takes over from interim chair Sudan

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Rita Teaotia assumed the office of chairperson, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India on November 28, 2018. She took over from interim chair Preeti Sudan, who was secretary, ministry of health, and given additional charge of the country’s apex food regulator upon the retirement of Ashish Bahuguna.
Teaotia joined the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) in the year 1981 and served in the districts of Panchmahal and Gandhinagar in Gujarat.
Subsequently, she worked in the energy sector as managing director, Gujarat Industries Power Company Ltd, and secretary, energy, Government of Gujarat.
Between 2003 and 2007, she worked as joint secretary in the ministry of health and family welfare, Government of India, focussing on food safety, drug control administration and national disease control programmes.
From 2012 to 2015, Teaotia worked in the ministry of telecommunications and information technology, Government of India, in the areas of telecommunications policy and governance. In this capacity, she has worked on standards, telecom manufacturing and telecom policy.
Over a career spanning 35 years, she has worked extensively in both policy making and practise in varied sectors, including energy, health, rural development, IT (information technology) and telecommunications.
Teaotia worked as commerce secretary in the ministry of commerce and industry between July 2015 and July 2018, before joining the apex food regulator.

Categories: NEWS

Students throw up after consuming midday meals

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Taken to hospital; doctors have said there is no cause for concern

Nine students of Government Lower Primary School, Nimbekaipura vomited allegedly after consuming midday meals in the school on Monday.

The teacher in the school rushed all the 25 students to a private hospital. Doctors have said that all the children are fine and there is no cause for concern.

The midday meals are supplied by International Society for Krishna Consciousness’s subsidiary Akshaya Patra Foundation (APF). The students were served puliyogere and rava payasa on Monday.

Officials of the Department of Public Instruction said six students vomited twice. They were kept under observation before being discharged in the evening.

"After lunch, the students were playing on the ground. One child vomited, followed by the other children. However, doctors have told us that there is no reason to panic," an official said.

The department has initiated an inquiry.

APF has run into loggerheads with the government after refusing to include onion and garlic in the meals. The State government has not yet signed the Memorandum of Understanding to continue the programme with APF that supplies food to 4.49 lakh students in government and aided schools.

Officials from the APF stated that the food is cooked in batches, and students from surrounding schools who were given food from the same batch did not have any complaints.

The Foundation, in a press statement, said samples of the food had been sent for testing as part of the investigation. “We have not received any complaint of children taking ill after consuming the food supplied by us from other schools on the same route, or any of the 1,002 beneficiary schools in the city. The meals served to this school were cooked at our centralised unit at Vasanthapura. All our centralised kitchens follow high standards of hygiene, food safety and quality to ensure that nutritious food is cooked and delivered to the beneficiaries.”

Categories: NEWS

Food industry agrees to cut trans fat

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World Bank to offer appropriate technology to State government

The food industry, especially the bakers’ association and manufacturers of pickles and condiments, has expressed its willingness to hold hands with the Health Department and the State Food Safety wing, in the latter’s efforts to reduce the high content of trans fatty acids (TFAs), salt and sugar in commercially available foods in the State.

At a meeting called by the Health Department here on Monday, industry stakeholders said they were willing to join the State’s safe food initiative, if the technology to reduce trans fat, sugar and salt content in foods were made available to them.

While the details of the action plan are yet to be finalised, the World Bank has expressed its willingness to transfer alternative technologies to the State.

Bakers’ association representatives said they would move to trans fat-free alternatives in baked goods, if they did not affect the taste and consistency of their products. Pricing of products was another concern.

The top-end bakers had already switched to margarine, which was either low in trans fat or was trans fat-free, in baked goods but this option was unaffordable to most small-scale operators.

Representatives of the pickle and papad manufacturers said the high salt content in these foods was to prevent contamination and enhance shelf life. However, good manufacturing practices and hygiene practices can bring down salt content in pickles by 8-10 %.

Self-regulation now

Commissioner of Food Safety Rathan Kelkar said the State wanted the food industry to self-regulate. Enforcement would only come later.

The Health Department has launched the trans fat-free drive as part of the non communicable diseases (NCD) control project as there is ample evidence now that unhealthy diet is a major factor pushing up metabolic syndrome and premature deaths due to lifestyle diseases among Keralites.

Categories: NEWS

Do-at-home tests can ensure purity of oil, ghee

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Govt, public should work together to deal with problem

The authorities concerned should collect oil and ghee samples from the market and examine them at regular intervals.

The authorities concerned should collect samples from the market and examine them at regular intervals for quality and purity. Samples which are not up to the mark should be immediately banned. Sale of such adulterated ghee and oil should be stopped and strict action should be taken so as to teach those guilty a lesson for playing with the lives of others. Shopkeepers selling adulterated ghee and oil should be punished by cancelling their licences.

Ekroop Kaur

Strict rules must

Adulteration not only in milk and ghee but in every commodity has become common. To prevent consumption of such adulterated goods, strict rules and laws must be formed to regulate and to monitor activities in the market. It should be treated as criminal offence and guilty must be pushed behind the bars. To earn a few extra bucks, they are playing with the life of others. A nodal agency must be formed to ensure purity and quality of ghee and milk being supplied to the public. Each milk vendor and trader must seek permission from this agency for selling products. If anyone becomes victim to any sort of health problem after consuming anything edible, he/she must claim compensation from supplier.

Farzana Khan

Food inspectors should be vigilant

All needed steps must be taken to make sure that adulterated ghee and oil do not reach consumers. The first step required is to check that such adulterated ghee and oil are neither available in the market nor sold. For this, food inspectors must be vigilant and keep checking shopkeepers dealing in these commodities by collecting samples, getting them tested and confiscating the adulterated bulks on sale and punish the guilty. The delay in testing must be stopped to control the availability and sale of such food stuff in the market. The Food Department must know a number of quick methods for detecting adulteration in ghee and oil. These methods must be repeatedly published in local newspapers for public use. The public in turn must also learn these testing methods and use them for checking the purity of food stuff and inform the authorities about the details of defaulters. Also, the Food Department must support research to find new quick methods for testing ghee and oil.

Dr G Dev

Need for joint efforts

Food adulteration is a burning issue these days. It goes on with impunity and the culprits are least bothered about laws. Even the government authorities have turned a blind eye to such malpractices. The problem can only be solved through joint efforts of consumers, producers and the government. The first and the foremost step is an aware consumer. Just for the sake of saving some money, a majority of consumers are ready to buy low-quality food products. The consumers should be educated about not compromising on quality and producers need to realise their moral duty to supply good quality food products to consumers. The final authority is with the government. It should never ever ignore such malpractices rather they should deal with them with severity. They should adopt a zero-tolerance towards such activities. But the root cause of all problems in India is corruption. Even if some food inspector or any other authority dares to take action against these adulterators, muscle power suppresses his /her sincere efforts. Therefore, consumers, producer and the government have to work together to curb the menace.

Bir Devinder Singh Bedi

Establish monitoring agency for checking

Ethics are the basis of running any business or providing society with services. But in today’s world, each person is in a race to reap maximum profits by hook or by crook. The easiest way from the view point of those who in the business is adulteration — whether it is oil, milk or ghee — and the victims of such foul practices are consumers. A curb can be put on these practices and loss to consumers may be avoided by establishing a controlling and monitoring agency by the local government. There must be periodical inspection of those who are dealing in the business. Heavy fine should be imposed on those who are guilty. A certificate must be issued by the agency on defaulters. The government should assign the duties for the distribution of ghee and milk to its staff and producer should supply their goods only to the government.

Dr Mohd Saleem farooqui

Home tests useful

Ghee is a regularly-used ingredient in an Indian kitchen and is considered to be a symbol of prosperity. However, there have been several cases of adulteration of ghee. Adulteration of ghee can be checked in several ways at home and these tests need chemicals which may not be readily available at home, but can be bought at chemists. There are other tests that need to be conducted in a laboratory environment. Though the laboratory tests are more accurate in determining adulteration, some home tests are also useful.

BISMANPREET KAUR CHAWLA

Frame quality standards

Adulteration is an addition of another substance to a food item to increase its quantity, which may result in the loss of actual quality of the item. Adulteration of oil and ghee will not reach the unsuspecting consumers only if the government would take strict action in this regard. The government needs to organise awareness programmes for consumers to buy FSSAI-approved ghee and oil. People who buy loose edible oil across the country run the risk of cancer, paralysis, liver damage and cardiac arrest. The FSSAI have to frame standards and to take strict action against those not complying with those standards. There is need to develop such techniques or devices by which consumers can check adulteration levels of ghee and oils on their own.

Ravleen Kaur

Buy packaged products

Food items of daily use — ghee, butter and oil — are prone to adulteration and contamination. So the consumer must be aware before buying the product and they should buy packed and labeled products because they are more likely to be genuine and packaged in hygienic conditions. They should also check the seal and expiry date of oil and ghee. Look for a quality mark of FPO or AGMARK. They should also make sure that the lid is dent-free or bulge-free.

Devna Munjal, Model town

Raid manufacturers on regular basis

With the changing times, methods of making ghee and oil have also changed. So, it is essential to keep a check on its production methods. Ghee and oil production centres should be raided regularly and ways to ensure purity of ghee and oil should be introduced to manufacturers. They need to be introduced to equipment and trained labour.

Laveena Sharma

Check for quality marks

Adulteration can be in the form of animal fat, crushed bones or palm oil. We should take only packed items from reliable retail shops and outlets. ISI mark or AGMARK should be checked before buying. There should be awareness on the part of consumer.

Sakshi Verma, Manpreet Kaur

Awareness the only solution

Awareness is the primary solution for dealing with adulteration. People should make safe choices and should know how to check the quality of ghee, oil and other products at home. Government should take necessary steps weed out the problem. ‘Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954’ was enacted, the objective of which was to ensure pure and wholesome food for consumers and preventing fraud or deception.

KAMALDEEP KAUR

Regular checking of samples required

Edible oils should be checked for iodine value and refractive index to confirm if it is genuine or adulterated. The provisions of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, should be properly implemented so that those guilty are penalised. Awareness programmes on health safety should be organised. Regular raids should be conducted and samples should be drawn by the Health Departments regularly.

Jasdeep Kaur

Impose penalty

Adulteration is now a part of every edible item, especially ghee and oil. Awareness should be generated among people regarding this and steps should be taken to ensure purity of milk products. The authorities should take measures and impose heavy fines on those playing with the lives of others for the sake of money.

Deepnayan Kaur

Form policies, regulations

Due to lack of effective implementation of graded penalties, regular surveillance, monitoring and sampling of food products by the state/UT governments, under the Food Safety and Standards Act (FSSA) and Consumer Protection Bill, India is still fighting against food adulteration. This practice (a gross violation of various human rights) reveals the plight of the country. It has become difficult to find safe food in the pile of adulterated foods such as milk/milk products, edible vegetable oils, spices, pulses and vegetables. Besides this, a large quantity of spurious drugs is also being sold in the market. To keep a tab on adulterated food items, the food industry (public or private) should be subjected to regular scanning in terms of manufacturing, packaging, processing, wholesale and distribution. The menace of food adulteration can only be curbed by strengthening food safety structures and effective implementation of policy and regulations to deal with it. In addition, increasing public awareness is imperative to protect an unsuspected consumer’s right.

RAVI CHANDER GARG

Launch mobile vans for checking food

The best way to make sure that adulterated ghee and oil are prevented from reaching the unsuspecting customers is holding awareness camps in rural and slum areas. Also, mobile vans must be designed in a way that adulteration could be checked easily and accurately. Vigilant control and checking must be done by food and nutrition departments.

Sanskriti Verma

Raise awareness through advertisements

It is the duty of the government to ensure fair practices in trading and FSSAI should make stringent laws. Advertisement on mass scale should be made so that awareness can be created among consumers. Authorities should raid factories. Moreover, consumers should purchase products which are authenticated by the FSSAI.

Ritu Priya

OPEN HOUSE COMMENT

Adopt zero-tolerance approach

Food adulteration, according to the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India, is an act of deliberately debasing the quality of food offered for sale either by admixture of inferior substances or by removal of some valuable ingredient. Adulterated food is dangerous because it may be toxic and can affect health and could deprive the consumers of nutrients essential for growth and development. The worst part is that the consumers are often caught unawares. They are oblivious to the fact that they may be consuming adulterated ghee and oil. The only solution in such cases is creating awareness among the masses and having a zero tolerance for adulteration in food. Any act of food adulteration should invite social censure and legal action against the offenders. — Minna Zutshi

Categories: NEWS

Govt all set to tighten noose around organic food manufacturers not adhering to norms

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  • The FBOs have to comply with various regulations notified under the FSS Act, 2006, said an official
  • The FSSAI decided that its organic logo (Jaivik Bharat) has to be used from 1 April 2019

NEW DELHI: The government is all set to tighten the noose around manufacturers of organic food products. The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), the food regulator of the country, last week wrote to all food safety commissioners, authorised officers and its central designated officers to ensure that food business operators (FBOs), involved in the organic food business, should adhere to the regulations pertaining to organic food.

“The FBOs are required to ensure compliance of their products with all provisions of Food Safety and Standards (Organic Foods) Regulations, 2017. FBOs will also have to comply with various regulations notified under the FSS Act, 2006," said Pawan Kumar Agarwal, chief executive officer, FSSAI.

The FSSAI decided that its organic logo (Jaivik Bharat) has to be used from 1 April 2019. This was based on representations by stakeholders and a review of the preparedness of the implementation of regulations concerning organic food.

“Retailers dealing with organic foods may also be required to get their licences endorsed during the renewal process. We are also monitoring the sale of organic foods on retail web portals," said Agarwal.

Mint had on 14 January 2019 reported how fake organic food products have entered the market and how people were ready to pay high prices for food that was ‘deemed’ healthy and safe without any guarantee of them being organic.

The 2017 regulations on safety and standards of organic foods recognize two systems of certification—the Participatory Guarantee System (PGS), implemented by the ministry of agriculture and farmers’ welfare and the National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP), implemented by the ministry of commerce and industry. The regulations state the labelling on the package of organic food should convey full and accurate information on the organic status of the product. Such products may carry a certification or government quality assurance mark.

Industry experts said that better surveillance and monitoring can help ensure the authenticity of organic foods.

A 2018 report of the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India, a trade association, estimates the Indian organic foods market at ₹40,000 million, a figure that is likely to increase to ₹100,000-120,000 million by 2020, similar increase in exports. The highest growth is observed in the organic food segment, followed by textile, beauty and personal care.

Categories: NEWS

Soon, FSSAI norms for temple offerings

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THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The commissionerate of food safety has made it mandatory for places of worship to take food safety licence or registration to distribute ‘prasadam’ and offerings.

Under the ‘Blissful Hygienic Offering to God’ (BHOG) initiative of the food safety and standards authority of India (FSSAI), which was launched last year, licence or registration is mandatory for all places of worship where prasadam is distributed.

Food safety commissioner Rathan U Kelkar has sent notices to all district collectors to convene a meeting at all worship centres to make temple authorities aware of the rules. "Considering the complexity of operations involved, the quantity of food prepared and the lack of awareness of the food handlers, the process of food preparation in places of worship can be categorized as high-risk activity since a lapse in food safety measures will directly impact a large section of population," the notice said.

It said all places of worship will have to obtain a food safety licence of registration and fulfil all responsibilities of a food business operator as stipulated in Section 23 of Food Safety and Standard’s Act.

Kelkar said that the FSSAI had asked the state to urge around 10-15 major temples to take licence. "We have met representatives of Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple, Guruvayur and Sabarimala temple. All these temples were happy to take registration as they too believe in delivering safe and hygienic food to devotees. In the meantime, we have also taken steps to make all temples in the state take registration by March 1. The district collectors were asked to convene meeting of temple representatives by January 31. We have offered to provide training to temple staff about safe food practices within their premises or at food safety offices, whichever is convenient for them," he said.

Kelkar said that the department has no intention to take any penal provisions or fine on delay in taking registration. Only those temples which have a turnover of around Rs 12 lakh will have to take licence and those below it should take registration. "The entire process is online and details are available in the FSSAI website," the food safety commissioner said. He added that the entire process is to avoid issues like the one happened at a Karnataka temple, where people died after consuming prasadam.

The state is aiming to become the first to get 100% coverage under BHOG. Already Kollam district has achieved around 90% coverage.

Categories: NEWS

FSSAI’s ‘Swasth Bharat Yatra’ campaign concludes in nation capital

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New Delhi, Jan 29 () Food regulator FSSAI-led ‘Swasth Bharat Yatra’, a pan-India cyclothon to sensitise people about eating safe food and being healthy, concluded Tuesday at Connaught Place in the national capital.

In this national campaign launched on October 16 last year, Tamil Nadu bagged the best state award for its active participation. Minister of State for Health Ashwini Kumar Choubey gave awards to winners.

Speaking on the sidelines of an event, the minister advised people to reduce the intake of sugar, salt and cooking oils in their diets. He complemented the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) for organising this big campaign under the ‘Eat Right India’ movement.

FSSAI’s CEO Pawan Kumar Agarwal said the cyclothon is the first step in creating awareness about safe and nutritious food and the central regulator as well as state food enforcement agencies would sustain this movement.

"The campaign has re-energised the food safety departments at states level," he said adding that this movement would go a long way in meeting the objective of ensuring safe and nutritious food to very citizen.

The 105-day long cyclothon began from six different locations – Leh, Panaji, Thiruvananthapuram, Puducherry, Kolkota and Agartala – on six different tracks in which more than 10,000 volunteer cyclists covered over 20,000 km across 36 States and UTs spreading the message of ‘Eat Safe, Eat Healthy and Eat Fortified’."The goal of this campaign (cyclothon) was achieved through engagement activities and events in more than 2,100 locations along the Yatra and the creation of over 21,000 local, community ‘Eat Right Champions’ who would sustain this movement in the future," the regulator said in a statement.

Categories: NEWS