The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has launched a campaign urging food business operators to apply for licences. After the enforcement of the Food Safety and Standards Act,from August last year till now a total of 1.72 lakh food business operators have been issued licenses.
Dilip Shrirao,Joint Commissioner,FDA said the food industry needs to be regulated in order to ensure food safety. Screening and registration of food business operators is mandatory as per the new act and the FDA has urged them to get their licences renewed or apply for fresh licences.
We have devised a system where our food inspectors are going to places helping people obtain licences. However,we will take strict action if there are complaints of corrupt practices, Shrirao said,adding that more and more food operators from villages should apply for licences. The campaign aims at educating people and ensuring public safety.
Those licences which have been issued under the Prevention of Food Adulteration (PFA) Act can also be renewed under the new Act. A total of 74,000 such licences have been renewed and converted under the new Act,FDA officials said.
In Pune a total of 22,385 such licences have been renewed and converted as per the new Act and 1,491 new applications are waiting to be converted.
A total number of 3,413 licences have been issued so far. Food safety officers,designated by the Food Safety Commissioner and under the administrative control of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) have been involved in the campaign. There are 275 food safety officers in the state,42 are from the PMC.
Apart from the two dedicated laboratories to check and analyse food samples in Mumbai and Aurangabad,the state FDA is planning to set up five regional food laboratories.