Food Safety Issues in India


An assessment of food safety issues: An Indian context
Food is the source of energy and other growth regulators that require running the body’s metabolism. The basic ingredients of the food are carbohydrates, protein, and fat. Consumers want to take good quality food but simultaneously they do not want to compromise their health i.e. the consumers have now become more health-conscious. So this is the time that food processing sectors must focus on food safety along with food quality.
Food safety is an important social and health priority for any country. The recent controversy around non-adherence to food safety standards by one of the world’s largest dairy and food products companies has brought food safety issues in India into much sharper focus. Apart from health, food safety is vital for economic growth and progress as well. In India, the food processing industry holds tremendous opportunities. It has high employment potential, can boost exports of agro-products out of the country, and also provide better returns to farmers for their produce. However, this is possible only if food safety standards are effectively enforced in the country. This brief explores the regulatory and policy aspects of food safety in India and also analyzes potential challenges therein.
Food safety in a broader sense can be understood in terms of chemical safety, microbial safety, and physical safety. Among these chemical safety and microbiological safety is the main concern. The chemical safety of food is linked with the contamination of pesticide residues, antibiotics residues, veterinary drug residues, etc. While microbiological safety is concerned with bacteria, viruses, yeast, mold, etc.
The international and national statutory organizations have decided on the permissible maximum residual limits (MRLs) of chemical and microbiological contaminants in the food system. To achieve good safety measures food processing sectors must follow the standards set by statutory organizations. Food should be a source of health, not harm. But food can maim, cripple, and kill. The leading cause of food poisoning is the consumption of contaminated food. Food can become contaminated at any point during production, distribution and processing, or preparation. Everyone along the production chain, from producer to consumer, has a role to play to ensure the food we eat does not cause diseases.
Today, the most concerning food safety issues are the pesticides, insecticides, and other chemical agents in the food system through the practice of conventional farming that ultimately causes severe health problems including kidney diseases, cardiovascular diseases, several types of cancer, etc. The farmers must look at organic farming practices
to avoid contamination by such harmful chemical agents.
The hazards which most likely influenced human health are chemical and microbiological hazards. The industry must follow food safety standards as per the national and international statutory organizations. There must be a sophisticated production line with HACCP to ensure food safety standards.
The ultimate solution to chemical hazards which directly add at the time of cropping is organic farming rather than conventional farming. Organic farming not only preserves the natural values of the food but also helps to develop an eco-friendly environment. Organic farming is all about working with ecology and managing natural cycles in an ecosystem. So the emphasis on organic farming must have to endorse in order to find solutions to get healthier food. Approximately 16009 cases were detected as per the given sources. Out of the 15163 subjects were hospitalized and the death of 95 subjects took place at last. As per the data, the death rate in the year 2014 was 0.0059%. In India, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is the apex food regulator. It is empowered by and functions under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. The FSSAI implements and enforces food regulations as prescribed in the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 (FSS Act). Even the food safety standard authority act-2006 has already been passed in India.
But there is still a need for enforcement in the right way to ensure food safety in the country so that people could live healthier. The country urgently needs a strong infrastructure to enforce the FSSAI-2006 in a better way.

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