Mobile Food Testing Vans to supplement food safety ecosystem in India

A total of 19 vans were flagged off by the Union Health Minister, Mansukh Mandaviya, at a recently held 3rd State Food Safety Index event.

Mobile Food Testing Vans to supplement food safety ecosystem in India

In an aim to push the states towards ensuring safe food for citizens, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Mansukh Mandaviya, on Monday, September 20, 2021, released the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI)’s 3rd State Food Safety Index (SFSI). As per reports, this Index is focused towards measuring the performance of states across five important parameters of food safety.

Minister Mandaviya felicitated a total of leading States and Union Terrirtories (UTs) based on their performance and ranking for the year 2020-21. Among the larger states was Gujarat which topped the chart, followed by Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Among the smaller states was Goa which stood first, followed by Meghalaya and Manipur. In the list of UTs, Jammu & Kashmir, Andaman & Nicobar Islands and New Delhi secured top ranks. 

Besides this, a total of 19 Mobile Food Testing Vans were also launched at the event, to supplement the food safety ecosystem in India. Also called as the Food Safety on Wheels, these vans will be used for testing purposes and the count has now increased to 109.

Sharing more details, Minister Mandaviya said, “Balanced nutrition is an integral part of Health.”

He expressed that food is an essential component of health and hoped that the mobile food testing laboratories will help functionaries in enhancing outreach and conduct surveillance activities, and also be utilized as an effective tool for training and awareness amongst citizens.

“Pradhan Mantri Shri Narendra Modi Ji says that when one person takes a step forward, only a single step is achieved; however, when the whole country takes just one step forward, the country leaps by 130 Cr steps. People who bring attention to issues like food adulteration and low-quality standards automatically benefit other unconscious consumers who might be harmed," he added. 

Results of the PAN-India survey for identifying the presence of industrially produced trans fatty acid content in the selected foods was also released at the event whereby samples of various packaged food items under six pre-defined food categories were collected from 419 cities/districts across 34 States/UTs. Observing the results, he said that 'India is on the right track of becoming industrial trans fats free in the 75th year of India’s independence.'

Other initiatives like 'Eat Right Research Awards and Grants' were also launched at the event with an aim to encourage and recognize high-quality research about food safety and nutrition in India. Moreover, the minister also released a logo for Vegan Foods which will help in easy identification and distinction. Various e-books that advocate and captures recipes around local seasonal food items, indigenous millets and plant-based sources of protein was also released. 

Present at the event were  Rita Teaotia, Chairperson, FSSAI, Shri Arun Singhal, Chief Executive Officer and Member Secretary, FSSAI, Shri Vikash Sheel, Additional Secretary (Health) among others.

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