The first ever World Food Safety Day, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in December 2018, will be celebrated on 7th June, 2019 under the theme – “Food Safety, everyone’s business”. The Day is celebrated to draw the attention and inspire action to help, prevent, detect and manage food borne risks and so contributing to food security, human health, economy prosperity, tourism and sustainable development. It is joint initiative between the World Health Organisation(WHO) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation. The observance is to promote food handling, preparing and storing it in a way to best, reduce the risk of individuals becoming sick from food borne illnesses. The world Food Safety Day encourages food safety which is a key to achieving several UN Sustainable Development Goal and is a shared responsibility between governments, producers and consumers. With the rest of the world, the Department of Health & Family Welfare Govt. of Nagaland, Nagaland Voluntary Consumers’ Organisation (NVCO) and Kohima Law College is observing the World Food Safety Day here at the state capital on 7th June, 2019 with theme – “Food Safety, everyone’s business”.
Food Safety and Standard Act 2006:
Food means any substance whether processed, partially processed or unprocessed. It includes packaged drinking water, vegetables, infant food products, meat, even the water used for food during its manufacture were all included. Food safety refers to the condition and practices that preserve the quality of food to prevent contamination of food borne illness. The Food Safety & Standards Act 2006 aim to consolidate the laws relating to food and to establish the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India(FSSAI) for laying down science based standards for articles of food and to regulate their manufacture, storage, distribution, sale and import, to ensure availability of sale and wholesome food for human consumption in the country. The most important and critical stakeholder in food safety is the consumer who is directly impacted by the safety of food in the country. It is necessary for the Authority to keep engaged with the consumers and apprise them of the emerging trends in food safety so that the concerns of the consumers are appropriately reflected in the food safety system in the country. Therefore Food Safety and Standards Authority of India(FS&SAI) has regulated Food safety and standards act 2006 for every state of India to ensure food safety and standards for human consumption and to check the sub standard of any article of foods in every state by Food Safety Officer. Slaughterhouse should have proper hygiene and maintenance instruments and to be regularly checked by the medical concern doctor and thereafter it should be given to the slaughter house for human consumption. Under the Consumer Protection Act 1986, the consumers have the right to safety, they are protected against marketing of goods and services which are hazardous to life, and therefore, the goods which are hazardous to health is illegal and punishable.
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare governs the FS&SAI. FS&SAI governs all food business operators in the country and has entrusted the powers at various levels to other designated authorities. In Nagaland, the Food Safety and Standards Act 2006, rules and regulations 2011 is being implemented in the State from 2012. However, to strictly enforce the Act, every State must have the separate Commissioner of Food Safety Commissioner whereas the Commissioner & Secretary to the Govt. of Nagaland, department of Health & Family Welfare is holding the charge and supervise his designate officials for effective implementation and to ensure food safety to the consumer. The Food Safety Officer must be appointed as an independent charge as per the Act and should checked all the Food Business Operators which includes Hotels, restaurants, canteens, tea stall, bakeries, street food vendors etc in all the respective district. With the enforcement of this Act in Nagaland, any person in practice of selling of food products are required to have a license to sell such goods and the license is to be given by the Chief Medical Officer. There are times where the FS&SAI has asked the Food Safety Commissioner in the state to inspect and evaluate in the market and had suggested that the state food safety commissioners should prepare their line for action and collect samples of all the packaged products, even those which are not registered with FS&SAI and also told to take action if required. The Chief Medical Officer and designated officers Kohima have informed all hotels, restaurants, provisions, groceries, home based canteens of schools, colleges, office, etc to obtain food safety license/registration from the Chief Medical Officer office and has also inform to the food business operators that whose license/registration were valid upto certain date to renew before stated date in order to avoid penalisation as per the food safety and standards act rules and regulations and newly established food business operators have also been directed to obtain the license/registration.
Today, Nagaland State has the level-2 laboratory which is the first in the entire North East worth of Rs 10 crores, the equipment fully funded by the Food Safety and Standard Authority of India(FSSAI) at State Public Health Laboratory in Kohima. The three major equipments s Liquid Chromatography Mass Spectrometer(LCMS), Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometer(GCMS) and Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometer(ICPMS). The President of NVCO Kezhokhoto Savi suggested it is best for the food business operators(FBOs) to come forward in bringing their products/food item/sample to get tested in the State Public Health Laboratory situated at Para-medical, Kohima, Nagaland before they sells out to the consumers. It is no point to have all the modern food testing facilities if the citizens don’t come forward to avail the facilities and now the Enforcement wing of State Public Health Laboratory has to work harder so as to keep the Analysis Wing led by Food Analyst busy in analyzing all parameters as the Food Safety and Standard Act. The Nagaland Voluntary Consumers’ Organisation(NVCO) has been conducting awareness campaign on Food Safety and Standard Act for the last several years and assured the public to continue the same in spreading awareness on food safety.
Adv. Kezhokhoto Savi President NVCO & Asst. Professor Kohima Law College
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