Odisha Ranks 13th in the National Food Safety Index

The successful implementation of various food safety measures by Odisha is reaping rewards, as witnessed in the National Food Safety Index 2019-20. The state has secured a rank of 13th in the 2019-20 edition, a big improvement from the 26th position in 2018-19.

The news was announced by the Commissioner of Food Safety, Yamini Sarangi, in a meeting held under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy. Odisha is in the 5th position nationally under the division of conducting high-risk inspections through mobile app technology. The State Food Testing Laboratory has also enhanced its capacity for meeting the requirement of the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratory (NABL).

Adding a smooth and efficient system of online registration and licensing of food business operators (FBOs) has resulted in an enhancement of revenue generation. “The revenue generation increased to around Rs 7.7 crore in 2019-20 from Rs 2.18 crore in 2018-19 recording a growth of around 82 percent”, said Sarangi. As a result of digital provisions for registration, there has been a steady increase in the number of registered and licensed FBOs in the state over the last four years. The total number of registered FBOs increased from 5,026 in 2016-17 to 57,827 in 2019-20.

In collaboration with the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), the state has initiated steps for addressing the gaps in the food safety ecosystem and promote safe and wholesome food. Under the clean street food hub initiative, around 30 food vendors have been registered and trained. The programme will soon be rolled out on a large scale.

The meeting considered the proposals of intensifying surveillance, increasing the number of food testing laboratories, involving private labs in food testing, and food fortification measures. The Health and Family Welfare department was asked to form a technical committee to extend the outreach of food testing activities. It was also decided to include food safety chapters in the academic curriculum at different levels.

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