The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) today said it is in the process of setting up a food safety standards review panel to identify gaps in the existing standards for safe and nutritious food against international standards.
“FSSAI has formulated a three-pronged strategy for ensuring safe and nutritious food for the 1.3 billion people in India. We are in the process of setting up a food safety standards review panel to identify gaps in existing standards for safe and nutritious food against international standards,” FSSAI CEO Pawan Kumar Agarwal said here.
“FSSAI will also look at ensuring that these food safety standards comply with third party auditing and food inspections,” he added.
Inspections will become a norm as far as food safety is concerned, Agarwal said while speaking at a seminar ‘Surakshit Khadya Abhiyan’, a national mission on safe and nutritious food initiated by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Food & Agriculture Centre of Excellence (FACE).
FSSAI will also strengthen capacity building and training of food safety labs and master trainers in food safety standards, who can further train the stakeholders in the food value chain.
“Also, awareness will be created amongst consumers about food safety and nutritious foods, be it at home, schools, colleges, work place, street food, social and cultural centres,” Agarwal said.
Agarwal expressed optimism that India as a nation can address the food safety issues “if we create a brand and work on it whole-heartedly in a collective manner”.
Advocating a mass movement on food safety and nutritious food for all, he said, “For this, we have to build the right eco system in food safety.” He also said that awareness should be created about fortified foods amongst consumers.
“FSSAI has set up standards in fortified foods also. Hence, to ensure nutritious food for all, fortified foods have to be encouraged in production and demand,” he said.