Bhubaneswar: With the increasing population in the cities, food safety has been brought to focus by the State Government. A high-level meeting to this effect was held under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy in Lok Seva Bhawan conference hall today. Reviewing the food safety measures in different cities, Chief Secretary directed the housing & urban development and food safety commissionerate to take a special drive for creating intensive awareness among the street food vendors and the people. Tripathy directed to educate the food vendors about food safety techniques and make people aware not to take unsafe food.
Further, the Chief Secretary directed to examine the possibility of enforcing food safety measures through authorised outsourced agencies with delegation of necessary powers. It was decided in the meeting that Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) would identify the most populous stretches for creation of ‘safe food streets’ in the corporation area on pilot basis. The proposal for ‘Designated Food Safety Officers’ in five Corporation areas was also approved in the meeting. Chief Secretary Sri Tripathy directed to put in place an online system for creating a data base of the oversight and enforcement activities.
Stating the updates, Food Safety Commissioner Smt Yamini Sadangi appraised that there had been a steady increase in the number of registered food business operators (FBOs) in the State over last three years. The total number of registered FBOs has increased from 5,026 in 2016-17 to 25,822 in 2017-18 and 36,622 in the year 2018-19.
Available data show that online registration system for FBOs has been launched from December, 2016. The payment of fees and dues as per FSS Act, 2006 has also been made online. The State Food Testing Laboratory has been recognized by Food Safety Standard Authority of India (FASSI); and, mobile food testing laboratory has been provided in the State from November, 2017. In the year 2018-19 a total number of 327 ‘legal samples’ have been picked and tested out of which 92 samples have been found either adulterated or misbranded against which 14 criminal and 33 civil cases have been instituted. Besides, a total number of 1599 ‘surveillance samples’ have also been collected principally from the places of public festivals and celebrations out of which 477 samples found adulterated have been fined. Mobile food testing laboratory has tested 1832 samples and have conducted 140 awareness and 20 training programs. Blissful Hygienic Offering to God ( BHOG) program has been launched in 3 places ( Kali Temple at Barminda, Sai Temple at Tankapani Road and Shani Temple at Vanivihar) in Bhubaneswar on pilot basis.
Principal Secretary Health & Family Welfare Sri NikunjaBihari Dhal, Principal Secretary Housing& Urban Development Sri G. Mathivathnan, Food Safety Commissioner Smt Yamini Sadangi, Director Municipal Administration Sri Sangramjit Nayak along with senior officers from concerned departments participated in the deliberations.