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IIT Gandhinagar becomes India’s first educational institute to receive Eat Right Campus Award from FSSAI

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The award will be conferred by FSSAI in New Delhi on June 07, 2019, on the occasion of World Food Safety Day. IITGN received a five-star rating in the Eat Right Campus audit, for ensuring food safety and promoting healthy eating.

On the basis of final audit score, the institute is certified as ‘Eat Right Campus’ with five star rating.

The Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar (IITGN) has become one of the first educational institutes in the country to receive the Eat Right Campus Award from the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). As per reports, IIT Gandhinagar Director, Prof Sudhir K Jain will receive the award for the Institute on June 07, 2019 at a programme organised by FSSAI in FDA Bhawan, New Delhi, to commemorate the first World Food Safety Day declared by the United Nations General Assembly.

IITGN’s initiative:

IITGN had taken initiative in all of their mess, food joints and canteens within the campus. All these are licensed/registered by the Food and Drugs Control Administration (FDCA) Gujarat, trained by the Food Safety Awareness and Training Organization (FSATO) an empanelled training partner and audited by DNV GL Business Assurance India Pvt Ltd (DNVGL), an empanelled third-party auditing agency.

Basis of audit:

The audit is done through a checklist based on five parameters. On the basis of final audit score, the institute is certified as ‘Eat Right Campus’ with a five-star rating.

  • Compliance to food safety and hygiene
  • Healthy diets
  • Food waste management
  • Promotion of local and seasonal foods on campus
  • Promotion and awareness of food safety and healthy diets in and around campus.

Announcing the ‘Eat Right Campus’ award to IITGN, Pawan Agarwal, CEO, FSSAI, said, "Access to an adequate amount of safe and nutritious food is the key to sustaining life, promoting good health and preventing foodborne diseases. Eat Right Campus initiative of FSSAI is a powerful tool to enable the administration/management to ensure safe and wholesome food for both the residents and visitors to their campus."

"I am glad to see this award going to IIT Gandhinagar and other such institutes across the country. This will help in encouraging other campuses to adopt and promote healthy food practices on campus for the wellbeing of their students and the community, he added."

Upon receiving this special award, Prof Sudhir K Jain, Director, IITGN, said, "The Institute has always followed the core policy of students-first. All of our efforts and initiatives focus on the wellbeing and betterment of our students, faculty and the community. The conscious efforts made by the institute to ensure healthy, nutritious and safe food for all is one of them."

"The ‘Eat Right Campus’ award by FSSAI is a welcome recognition to the dedicated efforts of our entire team of students, faculty, staff, vendors and vendors’ staff. We are grateful to all of them for their commitment to ensuring healthy and hygienic food on our campus," he added.

Eat Right Campus Initiatives by IITGN:

IITGN ensures high standards for the quality of food served at its dining halls and the other eating joints. Appropriate measures are taken to maintain cleanliness and hygiene. All the food joints of the campus have valid FSSAI license.

The institute focuses on healthy food habits; the menu served in the mess is tailored every month by the student mess council for a balanced diet that provides the body with essential nutrition.

Besides, all the food joints use fortified foods such as double fortified salt, rice, wheat flour, oil and milk, to further enhance the food nutrition.

IITGN promotes local and seasonal foods by the inclusion of such vegetables and fruit items in the monthly menu. For unused excess food, IITGN has collaborated with Robinhood Army (a volunteer organization) to collect and distribute the leftover food for the needy.

The Institute has also coordinated with Bio Diesel Association of India (BDAI) for collection of used cooking oil from the eating joints. The used waste food is sent to the in-house bio-gas plant for decomposition to make manure. Awareness programs to reduce food wastage are done regularly.

A notice board mentioning the amount of daily food wastage is displayed outside the dining hall to create a sense of responsibility among the community.

Categories: NEWS

Golden Temple street gets ‘clean food hub’ tag

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Chandigarh: Punjab has been awarded a certificate of achievement in state food safety index, conferred by the Union health ministry, while the Golden Temple street has been declared as ‘Clean Street Food Hub’ by Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).

K S Pannu, commissioner, food and drug administration, Punjab, said the certificate has been given to Punjab for achieving the status as one of the states which are catching up in state food safety index (SFSI) in recognition of their overall performance on various parameters of food safety during the assessment period between April 1, 2018 and March 31, 2019.

Pannu said the food and drug control administration, Punjab, identified the street food hub near the Golden Temple for ‘clean street food hub’ award. “Tourists from India and abroad visit the Golden Temple on a daily basis, so it was decided that food vendors on this street need to be trained and hygiene standards should be upgraded,” said Pannu.

Initial survey was conducted by Food Safety Awareness and Training Organization (FSATO) and district administration in March 2019 which was followed by a pre-audit survey of the street by food drug administration, Punjab, along with other bodies.

In the pre-audit, many deficiencies and gaps were identified and corrective measures were taken to fill the gaps. According to the final audit report submitted to food commissioner, Punjab, it was recommended that food street near the Golden Temple meets 85% of the specified benchmarks of basic hygiene and sanitary requirements and hence can be awarded ‘Clean Street Food Hub’ tag.

Categories: NEWS

Food that makes you ill

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Unsafe food is responsible for millions of sick days

Every minute, 44 people — more than 23 million per year — fall sick from eating contaminated food, and an estimated 4,700 lose their lives, per year. This is according to a review of the most recent available data entitled The burden of foodborne diseases in the WHO European Region, and it represents only the tip of the iceberg: the true number of cases is unknown.

These findings are presented on the occasion of the first-ever World Food Safety Day on June 7. “Every country around the world, from small to big, from rich to poor, has suffered from foodborne illnesses, and Europe is no exception. The scale of the challenge posed by foodborne disease is striking, indicating the importance of preventing and mitigating risks to food safety,” says Dr Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Regional Director for Europe.

“Food is a global affair with a food chain that wraps around the planet. A simple meal can easily contain ingredients from multiple continents and its safety depends on international collaboration. World Food Safety Day is an unprecedented opportunity to call on governments to strengthen the systems that guarantee safe food, across sectors and across Europe and the world.”

Unsafe food is responsible for millions of sick days, and can sometimes lead to lasting or severe illness, hospitalisation and even death. The overall burden of foodborne disease in the Region is estimated to be 413 020 disability-adjusted life-years, meaning years in which a person’s life is affected by a disease.

A variety of bacteria, viruses, parasites and chemical hazards have potentially serious consequences not only for human health but also for the economy and environment.

Categories: NEWS

Want to know what you’re eating? It’s all in the label

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Reading food labels can tell you at least 13 things about a food product.

On World Food Safety Day, officials stress importance of package information

Reading food labels could tell you at least 13 things about a food product. Most importantly, food labels give information on when the product was manufactured, its ingredients and best before date to ensure its safety.

As the city celebrated the first World Food Safety Day on Friday, food safety officials and consumer activists raised the need for consumers to read food labels and ensure that the food is safe, at an event organised for students by the Food Safety Department, Government of Tamil Nadu and Consumers Association of India (CAI), Chennai.

A. Ramakrishnan, designated officer, Tamil Nadu Food Safety Department, Chennai, said as a consumer, one should read the food label that would provide 13 points about the product, including ingredients list, nutritional value, preservatives/flavour agents, manufacturer address, net weight, batch number, date of packing or manufacturing, best before date, how to use and FSSAI license number.

Safe to eat?

Nirmala Desikan, chairman of CAI, Chennai, said the five pillars of food safety were maintaining personal hygiene, maintaining cleanliness of kitchen and its surrounding, checking for adulteration and spoilage and reading food labels.

She added that according to WHO, every year, one in 10 persons fell ill by eating contaminated food, and such food was the cause for more than 200 diseases.

G. Santhanarajan, director, CAI, put forth the need to check for logos on food labels.

Among others, K. Vanaja, Additional Commissioner and Director, Tamil Madu Food Safety Department, was present.

Categories: NEWS

Make ‘eat less, eat right’ campaign a mass movement: Vardhan on first-ever World Food Safety Day

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NEW DELHI: Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan appealed to people on Friday to make the "eat less and eat right" campaign a mass movement to ensure even one grain of food is not wasted and everyone has food to eat.

"Food is everyone’s responsibility. Let us pledge to not waste even one grain of food, and ensure that in our own personal capacities and in our institutions, contribute towards food security. This will help to eliminate poverty, hunger and malnutrition," Vardhan said at the first-ever World Food Safety Day celebration organised by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) here.

He said the "New India" vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi includes health, social security and nutrition.

Modi has acknowledged the ‘Eat Right Movement’ of FSSAI in his ‘Mann ki Baat’ radio address.

Vardhan said health is not only absence of disease and infirmity but the presence of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-ness.

The minister also unveiled a statue of ‘Gandhiji on a bicycle’ installed at the FSSAI complex.

"As we commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of Bapu, the statue symbolises his journey towards good health and shall constantly inspire people for emulating his good health practices," he said.

He further said Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy on food and health is relevant even today.

Vardhan said the people should adopt Gandhiji’s messages of eating less, eating safe and healthy food, and also reducing waste and sharing surplus food.

"I request you all to take this pledge in your own local communities to take this message forward. It needs to be used optimally and turned into a jan andolan (mass movement)," he said.

Minister of State for Health Ashwini Kumar Choubey said that clean food will result in a clean body, mind and thoughts and deeds. For this, people’s awareness about safe and healthy food and participation is critical to make an impact on society.

Vardhan also felicitated seven leading states/UTs based on the ranking for the year 2018-2019 for their impressive performance. These were Chandigarh, Goa, Gujarat, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu.

States such as Bihar, Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh followed close behind.

In an effort to galvanise states to work towards ensuring safe food for citizens, FSSAI has developed the first State Food Safety Index (SFSI) to measure the performance of states on five parameters of food safety.

The categories included human resource and institutional arrangements, compliance, food testing – infrastructure and surveillance, training and capacity building and consumer empowerment.

Following the certification of several ‘Clean Street Food Hubs’ in several cities based on third-party audits and training of street food vendors, the Golden Temple Street in Amritsar has been recognized as a ‘Clean Street Food Hub’.

Vardhan also launched a new-age, hand-held battery-operated device, called ‘Raman 1.0’, for rapid detection of economically driven adulteration in edible oils, fats and ghee.

The equipment tests more than 250 samples per battery charge, collects and stores data on the cloud using a smart device. This is the first of 19 such equipment and methods that have been provisionally approved by FSSAI for strengthening the food testing infrastructure in the country.

An innovative solution to take food safety to schools, called the ‘Food Safety Magic Box’ was also launched by Vardhan. This do-it-yourself food testing kit comprises a manual and equipment to check for food adulterants, which schoolchildren can use in their classroom laboratories. This kit is also useful for front-line health workers.

Twenty kits were distributed to primary health centres and government schools in Delhi with the support of the Delhi Food Safety Department.

Categories: NEWS