National Seminar on Food Safety Inaugurated BIS Standards on Food Safety Released

12-December-2012 …. President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee has said that food safety ensuring clean and nutrition food should be a key priority of the government policies as it is vital for physical and mental health of people .He said that India has made significant strides over the past decades in food production and globalization of the world economy has given a significant boost to food trade. But at the same time, it has created a new set of challenges to food safety.

The Indian Standards on basic requirements for street food vendors is an important step- especially in the context of the significant growth in the street food sector. It has important economic and nutritional implications for our urban populations as street foods are an accessible and affordable option for a sizeable percentage of our working population, he asserted. Shri Pranab Mukherjee further said that but we should be conscious that a substantial majority of our food businesses are small and cottage scale units hence implementation should not be too complex.

Releasing BIS Indian Standard on Food Safety requirements for street food vendors during the occasion, Prof Thomas Minister Of Consumer Affairs, Food And Public Distribution said that these standards will focus on providing minimal check points for ensuring safety of street foods by assuring food security for a large number of rural, urban and migrant populations in terms of hygiene and quality. These will also act as a bridge between the street food vendors and the consumer of street food, and assure that the street food conforms to specified standards and hence are safe.

The Minister said that with the expectations of the people regarding safety of food rising by the day, Indian standardization system must, at all costs, step in to safeguard public health, and thus promote consumer confidence. It is in this direction that the BIS has already released “Indian standards on Good Hygienic Practices, Good Manufacturing Practices and Food Retail Management.”

Underling the importance of awareness among all stake holders regarding these food safety standards, the Minister said that BIS had recently organized a series of seminars at major State capitals. Now, this National Seminar being organised today is mainly to discuss the recommendations arrived in the past, and to draw up a road map for future course of action in this important area.
Prof. Thomas said that the Government is fully conscious that the food industry, being a good earner of foreign exchange, , deserves all our support, and must not be tied down of its potential to grow by perceived limitations as viewed from safety angle. “We only want that standards should be contributory to a sound regulatory foundation for domestic and international trade in food, taking into account the interests of consumers, the industry and a very strict regime of international quality norms” he said.

Addressing the Seminar Prof. M.S. Swaminathan, the renowned Agriculture scientist said that food safety literacy movement should be taken up in a big way through information and communication technology, community food managers from local elected bodies should also be involved in this campaign. Expressing concern over pesticides residue in food products he said that strict safety standards should be adopted to safeguard common man from this.

‘Indian standards on street food vendors- food safety requirements’ released on the occasion provide detailed guidelines regarding quality of inputs and ingredients, transport, reception and storage of inputs, utensils and cutting tools: material of construction, cleaning and storage, hygienic practices, personal hygiene and habits, food preparation cooking and handling.

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