Hyderabad: For the first time in Telangana, the State government is set to implement a broad framework aimed at putting in place a fool-proof mechanism for safe and nutritious food for all.
To this effect, the health authorities have decided to adopt a seven-point charter to address issues that have impeded food safety and put in place a robust food control system at the State-level.
Participating in a round table meeting of State Health Ministers in New Delhi organised by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) on Tuesday, Health Minister, Dr. C. Laxma Reddy said the State government is committed to improve food safety and very soon these measures will be grounded.
Recognising the need to improve infrastructure, the State government has decided to upgrade State Food Laboratories (SFL) by roping-in manpower and equipment and get certification from National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL).
The SFL will become part of the Indian Food Laboratory Network (InFoLNet) to ensure seamless flow of information and in the process instil confidence among public and food business.
Among the many decisions, the authorities have also decided to tap into the available funds with Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to upgrade the SFLs. The authorities will procure major lab equipment, set up microbiology laboratory and renovate infrastructure at a cost of Rs 10 crore.
In addition to all this, authorities will also utilise resources to start mobile food testing laboratories dubbed as ‘Food Safety on Wheels’ with a cost of nearly Rs. 40 lakh and an additional Rs. 5 lakh every year towards petrol and oil expenses.
The authorities have also decided to address the issue of micro-nutrient deficiency by adopting fortified staples like rice and flour with iron and iodine in mid-day meal scheme and in Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS). In due course, activities like promoting organic food, launching campaign with focus on youngsters to adopt a healthy lifestyle.