The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has taken various steps to ensure quality of imported food products, including developing a risk-based import prioritisation system.
In reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for Health Shripad Yesso Naik said FSSAI had also implemented pre-arrival document scrutiny (PADS) in online food clearance system from February this year.
This is operational in ports of Chennai, Kolkata and Tuticorin.
The other steps taken to check the quality of imported food products include development of an integrated declaration form by the Customs department based on FSSAI inputs, and framing regulations for different food categories and machinery for their enforcement.
On the issue of an international alert on import of ‘plastic’ rice that the government received last year, the Minister said there have been no instances of import of plastic or synthetic rice in the Food Import Clearance System and no such incidence of import had been reported by State governments, too.
On issue of usage of calcium carbide for ripening fruits, the Minister informed the House that various steps had been taken to increase awareness among food commissioners on the harmful effects of these practices and the methodology for detection of Acetylene in godowns and storage chambers.