State Food Safety Index: FSSAI

What is the news?

Recently, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare released Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) -State Food Safety Index (SFSI). This index is used to measure the performance of States across various parameters of food safety.

What is State Food Safety Index?

It is an index is developed by FSSAI. It helps to measure the performance of states on five significant parameters of Food Safety. These include Compliance, Human Resources and Institutional Data, Food Testing – Infrastructure and Surveillance, Training & Capacity Building and Consumer Empowerment.

The Index is a dynamic quantitative and qualitative benchmarking model that provides an objective framework for evaluating food safety across all States/UTs.

What are the key findings of the State Food Safety Index?

The index identifies the presence of industrially produced trans fatty acid content in the selected foods. However, it was found that out of 6245 samples only 84 samples, i.e. 1.34%, have more than 3% industrially-produced trans fats. Thus, India is on the right track of becoming industrial trans fats-free.

It also felicitated states based on the ranking for the year 2020-21 for their impressive performance:

Among the larger states: Gujarat was the top-ranking state, followed by Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

Among the smaller states: Goa stood first, followed by Meghalaya and Manipur.

Among UTs, Jammu & Kashmir:  Andaman & Nicobar Islands and New Delhi secured top ranks.

What are the initiatives undertaken to Promote Food Safety?

Launch of Mobile Food Testing Vans (Food Safety on Wheels):  These labs will help States/UTs to enhance their outreach and conduct surveillance activities even in the far-flung areas. It will also be used for training and awareness generation activities among citizens. Their aim is to supplement the food safety ecosystem across the country.

Awards and Grants:  Launch of Eat Right Research Awards and issue of grants to encourage and recognize high-quality research in the area of food safety and nutrition in India

Segregation of veg and non-vegan foods: A logo for Vegan Foods has been introduced to distinguish food from non-vegan. This will empower consumers to make informed food choices.

E-Books: Various e-books have been introduced. These will help to capture recipes on local seasonal food items, indigenous millets and plant-based sources of protein.

Private Participation:  24 food businesses signed a pledge on becoming “Plastic Waste Neutral” by collecting, processing and recycling of 100% plastic waste from across the sources.

Source: This post is based on the following articles “State Food Safety Index” published in PIB on 20th September 2021.

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