Food Safety

Who should con­sumers go to?

Consumer Voice - - Contents -

The Food Safety and Stan­dards Author­ity of In­dia (FSSAI) has been es­tab­lished to en­sure im­proved qual­ity of food for con­sumers on the one hand, and to cen­sure mis­lead­ing claims and ad­ver­tise­ment by those in the food busi­ness on the other hand. Among its man­dates is the task of es­tab­lish­ing a net­work of in­for­ma­tion and best prac­tices in food safety. The author­ity is also ex­pected to pro­mote and is­sue guide­lines for devel­op­ment of risk-as­sess­ment method­olo­gies and for­ward mes­sages on health and nu­tri­tional risks to the stake­hold­ers. As con­sumers, then, we have the re­spon­si­bil­ity to be aware of, process and act upon all in­for­ma­tion that im­pacts the safety of the food that we con­sume.

Among other things, the FSSAI has to con­duct sur­veys of en­force­ment and ad­min­is­tra­tion of the Food Safety and Stan­dards Act in var­i­ous parts of the coun­try; and search, col­lect and an­a­lyse rel­e­vant in­for­ma­tion re­lat­ing to food con­sump­tion and ex­po­sure of in­di­vid­u­als risks, in­ci­dence and preva­lence of bi­o­log­i­cal risk, con­tam­i­nants in food, residues of var­i­ous con­tam­i­nants, etc. The FSSAI has the man­date of lay­ing down science-based stan­dards for ar­ti­cles of food and to reg­u­late their man­u­fac­ture, stor­age, dis­tri­bu­tion, sale and im­port to en­sure avail­abil­ity of safe and whole­some food for hu­man con­sump­tion. The FSSAI has been es­tab­lished un­der Food Safety and Stan­dards Act, 2006, which con­sol­i­dates sev­eral Acts and Or­ders that have hith­erto han­dled food-re­lated is­sues in var­i­ous min­istries and de­part­ments. The var­i­ous Acts con­sol­i­dated therein in­clude Pre­ven­tion of Food Adul­ter­ation Act, 1954; Fruit Prod­ucts Or­der, 1955; Meat Food Prod­ucts Or­der, 1973; Veg­etable Oil Prod­ucts (Con­trol) Or­der, 1947; Ed­i­ble Oils Pack­ag­ing (Reg­u­la­tion) Or­der, 1988; Sol­vent Ex­tracted Oil, De-Oiled Meal and Ed­i­ble Flour (Con­trol) Or­der, 1967; and Milk and Milk Prod­ucts Or­der, 1992. The min­istry of health & fam­ily wel­fare, Gov­ern­ment of In­dia, is the ad­min­is­tra­tive min­istry for the im­ple­men­ta­tion of FSSAI.

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