FSSAI Current Affairs - 2019

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Renovated National Food Laboratory inaugurated at Ghaziabad

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan inaugurated regulator Food Safety and Standard Authority of India’s (FSSAI) National Food Laboratory (NFL) in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh. It was inaugurated on the occasion of 13th anniversary of enactment of Food Safety and Standards Act, (FSSA) 2006.

About National Food Laboratory (NFL)

It has been established as a result of Public-Private-Partnership (PPP). It makes it first-of-its-kind in the food laboratory sector. It houses state-of-the-art collaborative training centres, namely Centre for Microbiological Analysis Training (C-MAT) and Food Safety Solution Centre (FSSC). It is equipped with latest technologies and facilities to conduct analysis as per global accreditation standards for testing and calibration.

Note: NFL is one of two premier referral laboratories under direct administrative control of FSSAI. The another laboratory located in Kolkata is also being upgraded. FSSAI will also be establishing NFLs at Mumbai and Chennai in the near future along the same lines.

7 June: 1st World Food Safety Day observed

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.

Key Highlights

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.

Food Safety

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.