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Commissioner Food Safety reviews preparedness of Lauh Yatra

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Convenes meeting of food safety officers of Jammu

JAMMU, OCTOBER 03: The Commissioner Food Safety, Dr Abdul Kabir Dar today chaired a meeting to review the preparedness of the Districts participating in the Lauh Yatra 2018.

He directed the Enforcement Officers of district Ramban, Udhampur, Sambha, Kathua and Jammu through which the said Yata will be carried out, to make available all necessary arrangements for its smooth conduct.

According to the programme, one of the legs will start from Leh on 16 October 2018 and will pass through various locations in Jammu and Kashmir covering 11 districts including Leh, Kargil, Ganderbal, Srinagar, Pulwama, Anantnag, Ramban, Udhampur, Jammu, Samba and Kathua. The yatra will be organised with the objectives to promote Eat Healthy to prevent Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs), Eat Safe to prevent food borne illnesses, Eat Fortified to prevent micronutrient deficiencies and No Food Waste to improve food security.

For the Yatra, the services of Food Safety on Wheels (Mobile Food Testing Vans) along with 25 cyclists shall be utilized besides organizing two Swastha Mela at Srinagar and Jammu on 11 November 2018 and 27 January 2019 respectively. The commissioner said that Nodal Officers for smooth conduct of the Yatra have also been nominated and have been asked to coordinate with the concerned district administration. FSSAI initiated "Clean and Safe Meat" campaign will be a part of the Yatra movement, to clean the slaughter houses and meat markets.

Speaking on the occasion Dr Kabir said that regulatory officers of Commissionerate of Food Safety are on an intensive drive across the State inspecting all the food business outlets including Petty FBO’s to Large Scale Manufacturers to ensure that norms prescribed under FSS Act are not violated at any stage of chain of food safety.

Citing the importance of Food Safety Officers, he said that Food Safety Officers are the backbone of Enforcement System to ensure that food products are safe for consumers and that Food Business Operators follow all the provisions of food business as laid under the FSS Act.

He said that special squads of food safety officers have been deputed with effect from September 2018 across the State who are inspecting all Food Sale Establishments. The squads deployed in various district for carrying out special raids have been put under the supervision of Designated Officers and Nodal Officer MFTVs so as to ensure compliance of the provisions of the FSS Act by the Food Business Operators. They have been asked to conduct Risk Based and Rational Sampling from all the sources especially Hospitals, Educational Institutions and Tourist Destinations.

The concerned Food Safety Officers raised the problems of insufficient field staff for lifting of sampling, conducting of inspections and related activities like seizure and destruction of deteriorated food items etc. Speaking on the dearth of field staff for smooth functioning of the department, Dr Abdul Kabir Dar instructed the district officers to make optimum use of the limited resources at hand, and utilize the services of subordinate staff whenever feasible and make liaison with the Local Area Authorities and Municipal Committees for eco-friendly disposal of deteriorated food items.

The Commissioner said that penal action will be taken against those found using banned and prohibited ripening agents, prohibited colors, non-food grade packaging materials and those violating any provisions of the FSS Act. He directed the Regulatory Officers to prepare a list of unregistered/un-licensed food business establishments besides those operating under unhygienic conditions and issue time bound notice for compliance to the Food Licensing & Registration System (FLRS) and improvement notices for upgrading hygiene and sanitation of their premises.

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