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FAO/WHO session to focus on issues & best practices for evolving region

28,September, 2019 Comments off

 

The 21st session of the FAO/WHO Coordinating Committee for Asia (CCASIA), which kicked off in Goa on Monday, will focus on deliberations around food safety at primary production involving issues and best practices for an evolving region, critical and emerging issues related to food safety for the region with an effort to identify focused action areas.
It will also look at exploring possibilities of mutual cooperation and enabling a mechanism for sharing relevant data/scientific advice with other countries for the purpose of developing regional positions and preparing/ supporting new work proposals; and developing regional standards for food products important from regional trade point of view.
India is the host of the five-day event by virtue of being the incumbent coordinator for Asia, which was originally elected in July 2015 and re-elected in July 2017 by the Codex Alimentarius Commission. This is the second session of the Coordinating Committee in Asia, hosting delegates from 18 member countries.
Sunil Bakshi, chair, CCASIA, and head, regulations, FSSAI, while addressing the meet, emphasised that the main objective of CCASIA was to promote mutual communication and resource sharing to develop regional standards and regulations for food products, and this event will certainly help identifying a way forward to further strengthen the food safety preparedness in the region as a whole.
Rita Teaotia, chairperson FSSAI during her inaugural address stated, “FAO/WHO Coordinating Committee for Asia (CCASIA) is a very significant regional coordinating committee, which affords its members the opportunity to focus on the concerns of the Asia region with respect to food safety and quality and this gathering for the 21st Session of CCASIA would pave the way for furthering and ensuring food safety and public health as well as trade and economic development in our region and beyond.”
“Countries trade extensively with each other and at least in food, almost 60 per cent of food trade is within the region. To my view, this alone is enough reason for us to develop a common ground for cooperation,” she added.
“And, therefore, a network of scientific and research institutions is needed for collection and assimilation of scientific facts and data for the region besides creation of an IT-enabled information platform to exchange information regarding food frauds and other areas of core interest,” Teaotia said.
Present on the occasion was Steve Wearne, vice-chair, Codex Alimentarius Commission; Sarah Cahill, senior food safety officer, Codex Secretariat; Purwiyatno Hariyadi, vice-chair, Codex Alimentarius Commisssion; Sridhar Dharmapuri, senior food safety and nutrition officer, Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations; Gyanendra Gongal, technical officer, WHO SEARO (representing Poonal Khetrapal, regional director, WHO SEARO), amongst others.

Categories: NEWS

Festivals ahead, Health Dept yet to start collecting samples of sweets

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Bathinda, September 25

Even as the festival season is just around the corner, but Health Department officials have yet to start taking samples of sweets and confectionery items in Bathinda and Mansa district.

Health officials said though they have been collecting samples of milk and its products, those of sweets and confectionery items will be started collecting ahead of the festival season.

Notably, Dasehra is two weeks away and the department has not started collecting samples of sweets in the district.

District Health Officer Dr Amrik Singh said, “We have been carrying out drives to create awareness about adulteration among sweets manufacturers and confectioners in order to avoid heavy penalties later. Because during raids, it has often been observed that many shop owners and manufacturers of confectionery and sweets items say they were not told in advance. So, we have decided to carry out awareness drives”

Department officials said a robust surveillance mechanism would be in place in this festive season to check adulteration of sweets. They said those violating the food safety norms would be penalised.

“Unpermitted colours must be avoided in sweets. We have standard FSSAI guidelines for use of colours in sweets. Any other synthetic colour found in sweets would be liable to invite a penalty. For the volume of a colour, on an average, one gram of colour is permissible in 10 kg of sweets. Manufacturers of sweets and confectionary items must avoid the use of cheap and low quality colours in their products to avoid penalties,” he added.

Notably, ahead of the festival season when sweets and other confectionary items are purchased in bulk, many unscrupulous elements sense a golden opportunity and try to take consumers’ health for granted by resorting to adulteration.

An executive member of a city-based NGO, who did not wish to be named, said, “In case of mouth-watering sweets, which are predominantly made with milk and its products, adulteration goes virtually unhindered. We need to comprehend the magnitude of the menace that is spreading at a high velocity. In spite of the Food Safety and Standards Act 2006, nothing seems to have changed on the ground. Adulterators keep on exploiting the gullible consumers and the administration seems to be in a deep slumber.”

There approximately 200 sweets shop and confectioners in Bathinda district.

The District Health Officer said, “We have a mechanism in place for collecting samples and testing them to deter adulteration in sweets. But, residents also need to be aware of the products they buy as such malpractices prevail only when there is demand in the market. We have conducted awareness drives in Rampura, Maur and Rama Mandi. In a day or two, it will be conducted for city-based sweets shop owners and manufactures.”

Categories: NEWS

FSSAI to train street food vendors in Telangana

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Hyderabad: The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is planning to train 10,000 food vendors in Telangana in food safety and certification. The FSSAI has already trained more than 2000 street food vendors and another 10,000 will be trained over the next one year.

This, according to Dr K Shankar, Director, Food Safety, was because 60 per cent of prepared food business goes through street food trading, like hawkers, mobile vending machines, petty shops, dhabas, street foods hubs etc. “That is why we have chosen to train them. This is being done as part of the Eat Right Movement,” he said.

Speaking at a ‘Media Dialogue on Hypertension Management and Elimination of Trans Fatty Acids’ here, he said plans were afoot to bring out dietary guidelines aimed at reducing trans fatty acids, salt and sugar in commercially available food in Telangana.

A Shanti Kumari, Principal Secretary, Health, Family Welfare and Food Safety Commissioner also spoke.

Categories: NEWS

Your favourite food stall may be giving safety norms a miss

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Visakhapatnam: Most of the food sold in food stalls in Vizag is not registered with the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). The information came to light in a survey carried out by the Consumer Rights Organisation (CRO) in the city recently.

As per the existing rules, any food product that is manufactured, processed, packed and sold should be registered with the FSSAI. They must also adhere to the legal metrology (packaging commodities) rules of 2011.

While the FSSAI certificate is awarded to regulate manufacture, storage, distribution, sale and import of food, so as to ensure safety of food items, the legal metrology rules give directions on packaging. The legal metrology rules make it mandatory to mention ingredients, expiration date, place of production, maximum retail price and a consumer care number on the packaged food commodity.

When food stalls were surveyed in different parts of the city, it was found that the norms are being flouted rampantly. The survey further showed that the few shops which did have FSSAI registration or licences, their registrations are outdated and have not been renewed.

Vice-president of CRO, Vikas Pandey said, “Nearly 95% shopkeepers are selling food items brought from outside. They are not aware of how the food was processed and the conditions in which they were made. Around 5% shopkeepers are preparing the food themselves, but they do not follow the guidelines laid down by FSSAI and legal metrology.”

Speaking to TOI, assistant food controller, Visakhapatnam, G Nandaji said, “Every food business operator must ensure that they have been certified by FSSAI. For petty shops, hawkers, vendors or those whose annual turnover is less than Rs 12 lakh, it is mandatory to get FSSAI registration. For food establishments whose turnover is more than Rs 12 lakh, it is mandatory to get FSSAI licences .

Adding that an inspection of food establishments will be carried out by food officials, Nandaji said, “During the inspection, if it is found that norms are not being adhered to, a notice will be issued to the respective shop establishment. If the shop does not comply even after the notice period, they will be penalised.”

Deputy controller of the legal metrology department, Madhusudan Reddy said, “Be it small-scale or large-scale food business, the packaging rules are mandatory for food which is packed and sold. Inspections will be carried out by the department. In case of violation, cases will be registered.”

Categories: NEWS

தரமற்ற பால்கோவா விற்பனை

28,September, 2019 Comments off

Categories: Coimbatore, DISTRICT-NEWS

Your cup is full of microplastics

28,September, 2019 Comments off
 

Categories: NEWS