Gujarat bagged the second position in the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI)’s 4th State Food Safety Index (SFSI). Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Dr Mansukh Mandaviya on Tuesday released the SFSI to measure the performance of States across five parameters of food safety.
Among larger states, Tamil Nadu was the top-ranking state, followed by Gujarat and Maharashtra. Then Goa stood first followed by Manipur and Sikkim among the smaller states. Among UTs, Jammu & Kashmir, Delhi and Chandigarh secured first, second and third ranks. Speaking on the occasion of World Food Safety Day, Mandaviya emphasized that Nation and nutrition are deeply connected and for a Samruddh Bharat, we need a Swasthya Bharat and for a Swasthya Bharat, we need Swasthya Nagrik.
SFSI was started in 2018-19 to create a competitive and positive change in the food safety ecosystem in the country. The index will help in providing safe and nutritious food to our citizens. Mandaviya thanked all the stakeholders and said that it was important to note the efforts taken by states in ensuring food safety and healthy food practices. Mandaviya also released various ebooks that advocate and capture innovative recipes about oil-free cooking and sugarless desserts.
He further praised the crucial role FSSAI plays in ensuring healthy and nutritious food for the citizens of our country. Dr Mandaviya also launched various innovative initiatives by FSSAI including the Eat Right Research Awards and Grants – Phase II. Eat Right Creativity Challenge – Phase III, a competition at the school level and logo for AyurvedaAahar which contains the initials of Ayurveda and Ahara with 5 leaves symbolising five elements of nature. This logo would be beneficial in creating a unique identity, easy identification and proven benefits to improve health and wellbeing.
Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said that to prevent food borne diseases and ensure food safety, a multifaceted approach involving industries, government machinery and regulators is required to create awareness at each level of the society. Arun Singhal, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), FSSAI said that the food testing paradigm in the country is being improved in mission mode and Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) have been signed with States/UTs, to carefully see the food safety implementation in their respective areas.