Food Safety Current Affairs - 2020
The World Food Safety Day 2019 was observed on 7 June with the theme- ‘Food Safety, everyone’s business’. It was first ever World Food Safety Day.
Background: The WFS day was facilitated by World Health Organisation(WHO) in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of United Nations (UN). This day was instituted by United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) by adopting a resolution for effect in December 2018 with an aim to highlight importance of safe food and to reduce problems related to it.
Objective: By observing World Food Safety Day, WHO pursues its efforts of mainstreaming food safety in public agenda and reducing burden of foodborne diseases globally.
According to WHO data, almost 1 in 10 people in the world fall ill after eating contaminated, with almost 1,25,000 deaths of children under 5 years. Around 600 million annual cases of the foodborne disease have been reported every year. The development of many low-and middle-income economies is hindered due to unsafe food. As result, these countries lose around US$ 95 billion in productivity associated with illness, disability, and premature death suffered by workers.
Initiatives in India
On occasion of first-ever World Food Safety Day, Union Minister of Health launched various initiatives such as-
- State Food Safety Index (SFSI): The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), under Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, has developed first State Food Safety Index (SFSI) to measure performance of States on five parameters of food safety. This is an effort of ministry to motivate states to work towards ensuring safe food for citizens.
- Raman 1.0: It is hand-held battery operated equipment that performs rapid detection, in less than a minute of economically driven adulteration in fats, ghee and edible oils.
- Food Safety Magic Box: It is do-it-yourself food testing kit comprising of a manual and equipment to check for food adulterants. This can serve as innovative solution to take food safety to schools.
- Eat Right Awards: instituted by FSSAI, with aim to recognize contributions made by food companies and individuals to empower citizens to choose safe and healthy food options so as to improve their health and well-being.
Tags: Eat Right Awards • FAO • Food and Agriculture Organization • Food Safety • Food Safety Magic Box
The Punjab government has decided to make it mandatory for all online food aggregators to ensure that food supplied by them should compulsorily have hygiene rating as per Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) guidelines.
- Reason: The online food order and door to door delivery mechanism of food supply has created a physical disconnect between consumers and the food maker. Therefore, the onus of ensuring quality of food and that conditions under which food is prepared are hygienic has shifted to the intermediate food delivery mechanism.
- About: Keeping this in mind, Punjab government has issued a direction to all online aggregators that all the online order and supply companies should display hygiene rating of all food business operators registered or affiliated with them.
- Measures: Punjab’s Food and Drug Administration has sensitized companies operational in Punjab including Zomato, Swiggy, Uber Eats and Food Panda on the issue and also directed them to get the hygiene rating done of all the food business operators (FBO’s) registered with them.
- Condition: The terms put forward includes that only those FBO’s who are at higher level of hygiene rating (bearing 3 or more smilies), should be allowed to supply food under the online food orders-delivery mechanism.
About Food Safety and Standards Authority of India
- It is an autonomous body established in 2011 under the Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare. It is responsible for protecting and promoting public health via regulations and supervisions of food safety.
- It is headed by a non-executive Chairperson who is appointed by Central Government.