Chandigarh, February 18
An RTI has revealed acute shortage of food safety officers in the state hindering the implementation of the food safety regulations. According to the information provided by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in response to the RTI, there are only eight FSOs to ensure food safety standards in 21 districts of the state.
Of the 22 sanctioned posts, only 12 have been notified in the state so far. Out of these 12, four are currently under suspension leaving the practical strength of FSOs to 8 in the state. It was also revealed that none of these FSOs has a degree in Food and Technology, as per the Food Safety and Standards Act 2006 and Regulations 2011.
Admitting the shortage of FSOs in the state, Health Minister Anil Vij said, “When the FDA was constituted by the previous government, no effort was made to appoint FSOs. Now, I have sent a file for sanctioning 225 new posts. Once we receive the sanction, recruitments will be made to fill the vacancies.”
Vij, however, said CMOs, SMOs and senior most medical officers of the primary and community health centres have been notified to exercise the powers of FSO.