Many consumers may not know this.Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) through States/UTs and its regional offices conducts regular surveillance, monitoring, inspection and random sampling of food products to check compliance of the standards laid down under Food Safety and Standards Act 2006, Rules and Regulations made thereunder.
In cases where the food samples are found to be non-conforming, penal action is initiated against the defaulting Food Business Operators as per provisions of FSS Act, Rules and Regulations made thereunder.
Based on information made available by the States/UTs, details of various kinds of food samples collected, analyzed, found non-conforming and action taken in the last five years is given below.
FSSAI has developed a pan-India surveillance system that helps to collect the data regarding the safety and quality of food and to ensure that the food supplied in the market is safe and wholesome. The aim of such surveillance activities to identify hotspots of food safety non-compliances and adulteration.
FSSAI carried out surveillance activities pan-India of various commodities as under:
- National Milk Survey 2016.
- National Milk Quality Survey 2018.
- Milk and Milk Products Survey 2020.
- Edible Oils Survey 2020.
- PAN India Food Survey 2021 - For Trans-fat & Acrylamide Content.
- National Milk Survey 2022.
- Jaggery Surveillance 2022.
In the said surveys the possible adulterants in the commodity were tested and reported. In all the surveillance activities, efforts were made to ascertain the degree of adulteration to identify hotspots (regions) predominant in food adulteration, in addition to ensuring compliance with the quality & safety parameters. Post pan-India Surveillance activities, the State wise non-compliance data are shared with concerned States/UT’s to initiate the regulatory sampling and taken penal action, wherever necessary. The reports of such surveillance activities are available in the public domain, www.fssai.gov.in.
FSSAI has taken many steps to improve consumer awareness with respect to food adulteration. The steps are as follows;
- FSSAI through its YouTube channel has created a dedicated playlist How to check for adulteration containing 76 short videos for checking adulteration. These videos are being uploaded on Social Media (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook) on regular basis.
- FSSAI has taken out a manual named DART (Detecting Adulterants with Rapid Testing). This manual is a compilation of some common adulterants and contaminants that can be tested by citizens themselves. It covers common adulterants in food products such as Oils & Fats, Sweetening Agents, Food Grains & their products, Pulses, Spices, Salt, Tea, Coffee, artificial and toxic colours, extraneous matters in food, added deliberately or otherwise. The scope and main aim of this manual is to create awareness in consumers about food adulteration detection methodology for use at household level too. This has been disseminated through social media and uploaded on the FSSAI website also for general information of the public.
- Awareness through Exhibitions/Melas/Outreach activities at various events like AAHAR International Food & Hospitality Fair/ Indus Food / India International Trade Fair/ International Dairy Federation World Dairy Summit 2022/ Mega Expo & Science Book Fair 2022 etc. Stall have been placed in these exhibitions where awareness through live demonstration of detecting adulteration through Magic Box was put into display for general public.
- Food Safety On Wheels (FSW): FSSAI has introduced mobile food testing vans called Food Safety on Wheels (FSW) to reach remote areas and conduct training and awareness activities as well. These mobile units are well equipped mobile food testing labs for conducting simple tests for common adulterants in milk, water, edible oil and other items of food of daily consumption. These FSWs are placed in different Exhibitions.
- Food Safety Guidebook for Teachers/Students: The lesson plan booklet provides with the detailed information of how to conduct the different test on food adulteration. These tests are mapped across the curriculum of the particular grade. These lesson plans are effective way to enhance the students learning. These books are available for free in eBook format and can be easily downloaded at https://eatrightindia.gov.in/eatrightschool/learning-books.
Details of various kinds of food samples collected, analyzed, found non-conforming and action taken in the last five years:
This information was given by the Union Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Shri Ashwini Kumar Choubey in a written reply on Thursday in the Lok Sabha.