Agra: To check food adulteration, the Food Safety and Standard Authority of India (FSSAI) has finally decided to set up an advanced testing laboratory in the city, which would be run by the Food Safety and Drug Administration (FSDA) Agra. This lab will be fully functional only by the end of 2017. TOI had reported in December that a state-of-the-art laboratory would be set up in the soon and now the apex food safety authority has given its nod to the project.
Confirming the development, FSDA Agra designated officer Ram Naresh Yadav said: “The FSSAI has approved the food lab, which would be set up at Fatehabad Road at a cost of Rs 10 crore. Yadav said since food safety is essential. The lab will be equipped to conduct tests on all types of food samples to determine whether it has been adulterated, contaminated or contain harmful chemicals.” He added till now the labs in Agra were only equipped to check presence of chemicals in food items and not adulteration.
The lab, which would be certified by the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories, will be equipped with latest in advanced equipment, the official said, before adding that the food samples for the tests will be collected based on complaints, suspicion, and random inspection.
Yadav said, “It is mandatory to collect four food samples in case of complaints or suspicion. Only one sample is sent for lab tests, while the others are kept in the custody of officer and complainant.” If the food is found to be unsafe for consumption for reasons like contamination or the presence of harmful chemicals, or threatens to pose a serious health hazard to the public a case is registered against the concerned parties and action is initiated as per the law, said the FSDA designated officer.