Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is using the technologies at their disposal in a big way, in a move to ensure that their norms are adhered to. The FSSAI has also established an IT platform for safety compliances for more consistent and transparent operations. This was revealed by FSSAI CEO, Pawan Aggarwal.
Aggarwal also revealed that the FSSAI will make it mandatory for all food businesses to employ a food safety supervisor. This move is expected to reduce the compliance burden greatly. He was quoted saying, “We have started using technology in registration and licensing of the food business operators (FBOs). All our systems are IT-based,” he said, addressing a CII’s food safety, quality and regulatory summit.
Aggarwal said that the FSSAI has upgraded and strengthened its IT team to ensure its solidity. Regulators have also developed standardized protocols and testing methods for food products and launched IT enabled Indian Food Laboratory Network (INFoLNet).
In addition, the FSSAI have created a digital compliance system, a large scale IT platform for Food Safety Compliance through Regular Inspections and Sampling (FoSCoRIS). It is being put in place for adoption across all states.
This system is smart-phone based and is being put to the test in Madhya Pradesh and Goa by food safety officers. The system is expected to be launched nation-wide in the coming months. “This will bring consistency and transparency in food safety inspection and sampling,” Aggarwal said.
The FSSAI has a mandate to provide safe, wholesome food to consumers and is collaborating with other stake-holders to achieve this objective.
He, however, said ensuring compliances of food safety regulations in unorganized sectors is a challenge. “We organised training programme for street vendors but we need to continuously engage with them,” he added.
Aggarwal spoke about the initiative the FSSAI has shown in recent years and their success in convincing the government to take more responsibility with regard to the enforcement of food safety law. However, he said, “We have to go a long way to bring States on the same page. But now there is greater engagement with the food safety commissioners.”