|Wednesday, 23 March, 2016, 08 : 00 AM [IST]|
|Harcha Bhaskar, Mumbai|
|The Association of Food Scientists & Technologists, India (AFST[I]), Mumbai chapter, recently conducted a national seminar on recent FSSAI notifications & amendments.
The event aimed at spreading knowledge on the recently-released two notifications by FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India). It was graced by Pawan Kumar Agarwal, CEO, FSSAI; Ajit Kumar, vice-chancellor, NIFTEM; and Dr Narpinder Singh, president, AFSTI- HQ; among others.
Agarwal, in his inaugural speech, said, “Education being more important than enforcement, a mobile app for FBOs on food safety and regulations will be soon unveiled by FSSAI. As part of promoting safe food, FSSAI is soon going to partner with skill development ministry and will train 20,000 street food vendors in Delhi empahisising on the importance of food safety and hygiene. Vendors will also be given dividend of Rs 2,400, which will include some cash, registration cards, hygiene kits.”
He added, “We have recently set up ‘Risk Assessment and Surveillance Cell’ along with Dr Lewis, who is a food expert. Under this cell, we would be soon coming up with enforcement techniques for safe milk. Other concerns such as packaging material for food products will also be looked at. I believe reformation in enforcement technique is also required.”
Agarwal emphasised, “We have a huge responsibility for providing safe food to billions of people in India, which we want to make a joint responsibility – industry body, FBOs and us. Currently prime task for us is standard formation for food safety wherein lab researcher would be major contributors. We are calling for research proposals by various researchers and FBOs, if merit is found, we would consider and back.”
Later, Singh said, “We need to focus on prevention technique of food safety. Also we lack determination of quality of food in the country, which needs to be addressed. On education point of view, there is need to have a one common course all over the country for students appearing for post-graduation.”
In his welcome speech, Prabodh Halde, president, AFST(I), Mumbai chapter, drew attention to the work undertaken by his chapter recently. He revealed, “We have already taken a cause in hand for food safety of temple ‘Prasadam’ in India, currently working with Siddhivinayak Temple located in Mumbai. For prasadam, research would be done as per safety standard, microbiological stability would be considered, food-friendly packaging would be done considering the shelf life of product. In coming three months, the document should be ready for standard prasad.”
Throwing light on other plans, he said, “Other plan we have is to do documentation of traditional food all over India, wherein the authenticity of traditional food will be maintained with proper document, which will consist of ingredients to be used, quantity, quality and nutritional value which will also be optimised in mass production for trade. This initiative is carried out jointly by AFST(I) and Dr Prathap Kumar Shetty, associate professor, department of science and technology, Pondicherry University, Puducherry.”
The event included various other sessions on topics such as Recent FSSAI Notices: Highlight about the Relevance and Interpretation of Recent Notices Published and Implementation and Impact; and Regulator View and Way Forward.