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TN, Gujarat, Maharashtra top in Food Safety Index for 2019-20

This was the second Index on food safety which was released by FSSAI on the occasion of World Food Safety Day along with the theme “Food Safety is Everyone’s Business”.

Jun 11, 2020 11:36 IST
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Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) on June 7 announced that Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, and Maharashtra have topped an index that measured and ranked states ensuring food safety in 2019-20.

As per the FSSAI statement, the three states have topped in the list of larger states on the index. While Goa came first followed by Meghalaya and Manipur in smaller states. Among the Union territories, Delhi, Chandigarh, and the Andaman Islands have secured the top ranks.

This was the second Index on food safety which was released by FSSAI on the occasion of World Food Safety Day along with the theme “Food Safety is Everyone’s Business”. The theme was dedicated to those in the supply chain who ensured the uninterrupted availability of safe food during the COVID-19 pandemic.

FSSAI shared the ranking of the State Food Safety Index on its twitter account and mentioned the top states and UTs in the area of food safety.

Key Highlights:

•   In a webinar organised by FSSAI, Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan stated that food safety is a shared responsibility. The call to action for safe food is: Grow it safe, ensure its safe, keep it safe.

•   The Health Minister also mentioned that as the government is lifting lockdown, we need to ensure that adequate precautions are taken in food service, restaurants, and delivery establishments. The food safety must also be emphasized through social media and other communication platforms.

•   Preeti Sudan, Health Secretary stated that Food Safety Index is an excellent incentive in order to create competition among the states to improve food safety.

•   FSSAI also released an e-handbook ‘Eat Right during COVID-19’ for the citizens on the occasion. The e-handbook highlights safe food practices, nutrition, and tips on health.

•   The food regulator also took a series of steps to facilitate the uninterrupted supply of safe food during a pandemic.

•   Rita Teaotia, FSSAI Chairperson, and new CEO Arun Singhal also attended the webinar.

‘Food Hygiene and Safety Guidelines for Food Businesses during COVID-19 Pandemic’:

On the occasion, FSSAI released an updated detailed guidance note ‘Food Hygiene and Safety Guidelines for Food Businesses during COVID-19 Pandemic’. The document specifies the sanitary requirements and hygiene, sector-specific requirements to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the food supply chain, the responsibility of management long with a section on the  ‘management of food establishments on the identification of COVID-19 positive cases’.

About Food Safety Index:

In December 2018, the United National General Assembly declared the first-ever World Food Safety Day. It was kicked off by Union Minister, Dr. Harsh Vardhan at Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) by recognising the efforts of food businesses, states, and individuals in promoting food safety.

In an effort to encourage states to work towards ensuring safe food for the citizens, the first State Food Safety Index (SFSI) was developed by FSSAI. This index measures the performance of states on various parameters of food safety.

The Food Safety Index is a dynamic qualitative and quantitative benchmarking model that provides an objective framework to evaluate food safety across all the states and UTs.

Parameters of food safety to rank the states:

The index ranks states on food safety on the basis of five parameters:

•   Human Resources and Institutional data

•   Compliance

•   Food testing- Infrastructure and Surveillance

•   Training and Capacity Building

•   Consumer Empowerment