Policy

FSSAI all set to launch ‘One Nation, One Food Law’

Meenakshi Verma Ambwani New Delhi | Updated on January 09, 2018 Published on November 01, 2017

Pawan Kumar Agarwal, CEO, FSSAI

To use tech for uniform testing, sampling norms across States



In a bid to bring in consistency in enforcing food safety regulations and standards across States, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is set to launch its ‘One Nation One Food Law’ initiative. The regulator is leveraging technology for uniform implementation of norms for testing and sampling by various States and labs.

“We want to ensure that investors and food businesses have a consistent positive experience across States while dealing with the regulatory environment,” Pawan Agarwal, CEO, FSSAI, told BusinessLine.

He said while there is one food law that outlines standards and procedures for various food products, States have different approaches to implementing these regulations due to legacy issues or infrastructure-related challenges.

“Through these initiatives, we are enabling States to adopt good practices as well as help them build capacities to ensure that standards and regulations are enforced uniformly,” he added.

Under this initiative, FSSAI is launching the Food Safety Compliance through Regular Inspections and Sampling (FoSCoRIS) platform. This is an online platform that food safety officers will use to verify compliance of safety standards by food businesses. Food safety officers will require a hand-held device with Internet connectivity.

“This platform will ensure that uniform matrices are used to conduct tests and sample collections. The entire inspection outcome will be available on the cloud through this platform with time stamps. This will hopefully bring transparency in the process as data related to inspection, sampling and test results will be seamlessly shared by the officials,” he added.

FSSAI is also bringing out a Food Safety Officers Manual outlining the procedures and practices that must be followed during sampling and inspection. The 200-page manual also outlines code of ethics that food safety officers should follow during inspection and sampling.

Regulatory portal

Meanwhile, in a bid to enable better co-ordination among national agencies such as Bureau of Indian Standards, Agmark and Legal Metrology, the FSSAI has also launched a food regulatory portal.

To make food safety testing infrastructure more robust, the regulator has launched a digital solution that will connect all the government and private food labs to a centralised lab management system called InFoLNet (Indian Food Laboratory Network).Over 154 labs have registered with this platform, Agarwal said, adding that this will ensure that all the test results are available in a central database. FSSAI intends to make it mandatory for all accredited labs to be connected to the platform and is in the process of finalising the necessary regulations.

The FSSAI is also in talks with food safety commissioners to launch a food safety index to measure and rank the performance of States on various parameters, in a bid to encourage States to focus on good practices.

Published on November 01, 2017
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