Port Blair, Aug 13:
Following the Calcutta High Court Judgement on the proper and efficient implementation of Food Safety Act, the Commissioner Food Safety/DHS A&N Administration yesterday appointed Whole-Time Designated Officer / Licensing Authority under the Act. The Designated officer will be placed under the Deputy Commissioner of each District as per the provision of the Act.
The public interest litigation WP 640/2012 was filed by Island Protection Forum and the Judgement came on 5th June 2014. For proper implementation of the Food Safety and Standards Act 2006, the Act stipulates whole-time-regular machinery both at the State level and District level, for which Whole-Time Commissioner Food Safety, Whole-Time Designated Officers/Dist Food Safety Officers, Whole-Time Food Safety Officers, Adjudicating Officer and Food Analyst needs to appointed, but the present setup is adhoc and proper structuring have not been done.
For the past 4 years the Administration simply sat on the files to create and finalizing the RRs of various required posts of Commissioner to Food Analysts, which is resulting in lack of officers for monitoring and sampling to ensure food free from adulteration. Now food samples are sent to some pvt recognized laboratories for testing samples, but it takes 2 days to reach the samples as a result certain parameters that have to be checked within 24 hours of sampling cannot be done.
Advocate K.Sabir appeared for Island Protection Forum in the PIL, the Food Safety Authority of India supported the WP and in the case the Administration didn’t file reply. The judgement gave strict directions to both state and Central govt to comply with the provisions of the Act and appoint required statutory post immediately.
For the post of Food Safety Officer a master in Chemistry or a degree in Food sector eg Agriculture, Veterinary etc are required. For Food Analyst post any one with masters in Chemistry needs to pass Food Analysts examination conducted by FSSAI. The PIL opened up scope for job for Islanders having above qualifications, but it all depends how many more years it will take to create post and finalize RRs.
Now it is the responsibility of the respective Deputy Commissioner to proper monitoring to ensure Food Safety.