‘Need to regulate food supply chain’

ITANAGAR, 7 Jul: Designated officer for food safety, Lokam Mangha said that there is “an urgent requirement of regulation in food supply chain.”

Addressing a ‘district level steering committee meeting on food safety of capital Itanagar’ here on Thursday, Mangha presented a brief on the Food Safety & Standards Act and the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1911 and Rules, 1955.

He highlighted how the presence of pesticides, insecticides, additives, etc, in food is the major reason for the rise in instances of cancer and other lifestyle diseases/ailments in people, and emphasised that “the business community should ensure that safe and unadulterated food is sold in the markets for consumption of general public.”

Besides speaking about various laws relating to food safety, he informed that “food safety on wheel is also functional to check food safety standards.”

Matters such as presence of formalin in fish and carbide in fruits, and use of newspapers for wrapping and serving food were also discussed.

Mangha sought cooperation from the market welfare committees in dealing with the rampant use of carbide in fruits by the vendors.

“Changes need to be incorporated, like avoiding newspaper wrapping, which has presence of lead and which is again hazardous for human health,” he said, and stressed the need to generate awareness regarding the harmful effects of chemicals in foods.

Issuing a clarification on the viral news about plastic eggs and rice, Mangha said that “the FSSAI has released a document countering the claim of manufacturing of plastic egg as myth.” He said that “if the chicken is fed excessive amount of castor seeds, then the egg tends to become like plastic.”

He further said that, in order to run any kind of eatery, or restaurant, or hotel, food safety licence has to be obtained, which is available online too. The details are available in foscos.fssai.gov.in.

Joram Lotu from the IMC said that “obtaining of food licence by the applicants of grocery shops and hotels, restaurants and other food outlets/eateries should be made mandatory.”

Naharlagun EAC Likha Radh suggested to the food safety officers to sensitise the public to “the fake news of plastic eggs/rice in the market by conducting awareness through press briefing, print media or hoardings/posters, etc.”

SDPO Kamdam Sikom also said that “fake news of plastic eggs need to be clarified in public,” and that his force is “always ready to extend help during raids and checking of food qualities.” (DIPRO)