Leh, April 8: Advisor Ladakh (Chairman) convened a meeting on the 2nd State Level Advisory Committee (SLAC) on Safe Food and Healthy Diets. In the first SLAC meeting on the same held on Feb 17, 2021, certain action points were decided and the concerned officials gave a detailed briefing on the progress made so far. In the meeting, Advisor Ladakh emphasised the need for creating more awareness about food safety and informing people about the existing mechanism for redressing their grievances. He added that misbranding, substandard food and food adulteration are grave issues that need to be addressed and dealt with on a most immediate basis. He directed the Food Safety (Drug and Food Control) Organisation UT Ladakh to develop a website and also to promote the ‘Food Safety Connect App’ which is a one-stop solution for all food-related news, updates, and grievances redressal. The app can also be used as a mechanism for consumers to easily verify FSSAI license or registration on any food packet.
Assistant Commissioner, Food Safety (Drug and Food Control) Organisation, UT Ladakh, Tamchos Gyurmet gave a detailed presentation on the action taken report on the first SLAC meeting on Safe Food & Healthy Diets. According to the report, two Food Safety Officers (FSO) were engaged through outsourcing; Food Labs were notified for analysis, and food samples were being sent to them regularly; 21 camps were organised in 2021 which resulted in an increase of more than 36% in licensing and registration; 67 Frontline Workers of the Social Welfare Dept were Trained under Food Safety Training and Certification (FoSTaC) and were provided with certificates as well; inspections and audits; adjudications and capacity building of food business operators.
FSSAI Director, (Northern Region) Rajesh Singh congratulated on the timely holding of the 2nd SLAC meeting. He apprised the Advisor about the Food Registration and Compliance System (FoSCOS) website which is a licensing and registration website. He added that District Level Advisory Committee (DLAC) meetings shall be held for each district as planned.
Principal Secretary, Health and Medical Education (Vice Chairman, SLAC) stated that books will be published on health awareness which will be funded by FSSAI and distributed in schools and Anganwadi centres.
Speaking on Eat Right initiatives, Joint Director, Northern Region (FSSAI) Dr. Mahesh Waghmare talked about the three food pillars: Healthy, Hygienic, and Traditional. He exhorted on the importance of local food which is not only sustainable but is necessary to maintain health.
For Information, Education & Communication (IEC) many activities are held such as Food Fortification, Eat Right Challenge Walkathon, Eat Right Mela, Eat Right campus, and so forth. Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), has initiated the Eat Right India Movement which is based on three key themes, ‘if it’s not safe, it’s not food’ (safe food), ‘food should not only serve the palate but is also meant for body and mind’ (healthy diets) ‘food has to be good both for people and the planet’ (sustainable diets). The Eat Right Challenge is envisioned as a competition among districts and cities to recognize their efforts in adopting and scaling up various initiatives under Eat Right India. It is meant to motivate states to improve performance and encourage others to join.
The meeting was attended by Principal Secretary, Health and Medical Education; Additional Director General of Police, UT Ladakh; Director, School Education; Commissioner Secretary, Industries, and Commerce; Commissioner/ Secretary, Social Welfare; Administrative Secretary, Agriculture; Administrative Secretary, Food Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs; Commissioner Food Safety; Director Health Services as professional on Public Health, Food Safety and Nutrition; Professional on Food Science and Technology; President Hotel Association, Leh as representative of Hotels and Catering establishments; Representative of Packaged Food Business and Representative of Consumer Organization.