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State Level Advisory Committee meets on ‘Safe Food & Healthy Diets


State Level Advisory Committee meets on ‘Safe Food & Healthy Diets’

Leh, April 5: State Level Advisory Committee (SLAC) meeting on ‘Safe Food & Healthy Diets’ was held under the chairmanship of Advisor Ladakh, Umang Narula (Chairman SLAC) at Civil Secretariat, Leh. The officials presented the Action Taken Report as per the directions given in the last meeting of SLAC.

Deliberations were held on the issue of the sale of expired items, misbranding, and carrying out strict checking to ensure the prescribed standards of food being sold in the market. Advisor asked the School Education Department to identify schools for the Eat Right Initiative and have a third-party audit of their kitchens/cooking facilities conducted.

In a detailed presentation, Assistant Commissioner, Food Safety (Drug and Food Control) Organisation, UT Ladakh, Tamchos Gyurmet apprised the SLAC Committee of the Action Taken Report and the current status of various initiatives. It was informed that besides the existing two labs of J&K, a private lab was notified to further strengthen the food testing system. Also, 6 Food Safety officers were engaged through outsourcing, and MoU with MoHFW for the construction of labs was also signed. With respect to licensing and registration, so far 16 License Camps were organized and a 50% increase was achieved in Hotels & 95% achieved in other Food Businesses. In addition, it was intimated that all Consumer Grievances were resolved in the stipulated time and sufficient IEC and capacity-building training initiatives were successfully held.

Stressing the need for an intensive awareness campaign, the Principal Secretary, Health & Medical Education, Dr Kotwal (Vice Chairman SLAC) stated that the Information Education and Communication campaigns should also involve local artists/influencers to achieve effective communication and reach out to more people with the medium of audio/video content. Dr Kotwal also emphasized organizing training workshops & awareness programmes for the vendors, Food Business fraternity, and stakeholders involved in the sector to ensure the quality of Food standards according to the norms set by the Govt.

The Committee deliberated on the issue of the sale of dubious meat, poultry, and dairy products. The issue of unlicensed street vendors using contaminated water for street foods was also flagged. In this regard, Advisor Narula directed the concerned officials to check the alleged claims by adopting scientific methods and take strict action against the offenders.

The meeting was also attended by Principal Secretary, School Education Information & Technology; Commissioner/Secretary, Social Welfare, and Information department; Administrative Secretary, Agriculture; Administrative Secretary, Food Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs; DIG, Ladakh Police; Director Health Services; President Hotel Association, Leh as representative of Hotels, Restaurant and Catering establishment; President Merchant Association as representative of Consumer Organization; Representative of Packaged Food Business and other concerned officials.

Ladakh Times is a participatory media house based in Ladakh, tells untold stories, playing an active role of collecting news and information.

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