- Recently, the Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare has released the 3rd State Food Safety Index (SFSI).
- Also, 19 Mobile Food Testing Vans (Food Safety on Wheels) have been flagged off to supplement the food safety ecosystem across the country.
- The index is developed by FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India) to measure the performance of states on five significant parameters of Food Safety.
- The parameters include Human Resources and Institutional Data, Compliance, Food Testing – Infrastructure and Surveillance, Training & Capacity Building and Consumer Empowerment.
- The Index is a dynamic quantitative and qualitative benchmarking model that provides an objective framework for evaluating food safety across all States/UTs.
- The first State Food Safety Index for the year 2018-19 was announced on the first-ever World Food Safety Day on 7th June 2019.
Ranking of States:
- Among the larger states, Gujarat was the top ranking state, followed by Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
- Among the smaller states, Goa stood first followed by Meghalaya and Manipur.
- Among UTs, Jammu & Kashmir, Andaman & Nicobar Islands and New Delhi secured top ranks.
Importance of Food Safety:
- Access to sufficient amounts of safe food is key to sustaining life and promoting good health.
- Foodborne illnesses are usually infectious or toxic in nature and often invisible to the plain eye, caused by bacteria, viruses, parasites or chemical substances entering the body through contaminated food or water.
- An estimated 4,20,000 people around the world die every year after eating contaminated food and children under 5 years of age carry 40% of the foodborne disease burden, with 1,25, 000 deaths every year.
- Food safety has a critical role in assuring that food stays safe at every stage of the food chain – from production to harvest, processing, storage, distribution, all the way to preparation and consumption.
- Food production is responsible for up to 30% of global greenhouse-gas emissions contributing to global warming
SOURCE: THE HINDU,THE ECONOMIC TIMES,MINT