Bhubaneswar: ‘Safe Food Streets’ on a pilot basis is to be created in most populous stretches under Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC), as decided in a high level meeting chaired by Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy in the Lokseba Bhawan conference hall on Saturday.
With increasing population in the cities, food safety has been brought to focus by the State Government. Chief Secretary has directed the Housing & Urban Development Department and Food Safety Commissionerate to take a special drive for creating intensive awareness among the street food vendors and the people.
Tripathy has directed to educate the food vendors about food safety techniques and make people aware not to take unsafe food. Further, to examine the possibility of enforcing food safety measures through authorized outsourced agencies with delegation of necessary powers.
While the BMC is to identify most populous stretches to create ‘Safe Food Streets’, a proposal for ‘Designated Food Safety Officers’ in five Corporation areas was also approved in the meeting. Tripathy directed to put in place an online system for creating a database of the oversight and enforcement activities.
Stating the updates, Food Safety Commissioner Yamini Sadangi appraised that there had been a steady increase in the number of registered food business operators (FBOs) in the State over last three years. The total number of registered FBOs has increased from 5,026 in 2016-17 to 25,822 in 2017-18 and 36,622 in the year 2018-19.
Available data show that online registration system for FBOs has been launched from December 2016. The payment of fees and dues as per FSS Act, 2006 has also been made online. The State Food Testing Laboratory has been recognized by Food Safety Standard Authority of India (FASSI); and, mobile food testing laboratory has been provided in the State from November 2017.
In the year 2018-19 a total number of 327 ‘legal samples’ have been picked and tested out of which 92 samples have been found either adulterated or misbranded against which 14 criminal and 33 civil cases have been instituted. Besides, a total number of 1599 ‘surveillance samples’ have also been collected principally from the places of public festivals and celebrations out of which 477 samples found adulterated have been fined.
Mobile food testing laboratory has tested 1832 samples and have conducted 140 awareness and 20 training programs. Blissful Hygienic Offering to God (BHOG) program has been launched in three places (Kali Temple at Baramunda, Sai Temple at Tankapani Road and Shani Temple at Vanivihar) in Bhubaneswar on a pilot basis.
Health & Family Welfare Principal Secretary Nikunja Bihari Dhal, Housing & Urban Development Principal Secretary G. Mathivathnan, Food Safety Commissioner Yamini Sarangi, Municipal Administration Director SangramjitNayak along with senior officers from concerned departments participated in the deliberations.