ANANTNAG: A meeting of the District Level Advisory Committee (DLAC) on Safe Food & Healthy Diets under the chairmanship of Deputy Commissioner Anantnag Anshul Garg was held in DC office Anantnag.
The meeting was attended by DPO ICDS,CMO(Vice Chairperson),Assistant Commissioner Food Safety/Designated Officer (Member Secretary), representatives of SSP, GM DIC, CEO & AD Food , other members, social activists, legal experts & persons from food agencies.
Talking about the mandate of the committee, the AC Food Safety (Designated Officer) said that the committee has to ensure smooth implementation of FSSA 2006 & compliance with rules and regulations there under besides promotion of fortified foods in ICDS & MDM & development of nutritional & food safety literacy amongst the citizens by convergence with Poshan Abhiyan & SBM programmes. The Committee also oversees the registration of food business units, surveillance of food items, monitoring of inspections, sampling, enforcement, prosecution and adjudication related to food safety.
Furthermore, it monitors; the quality & safety of Milk & Milk products, grievances of food sellers as well as consumers, training of the unit holders, food borne diseases etc, the officer informed.
The meeting was informed that more than 4000 food business units have been registered in the district so far. Every month, 32 food samples are collected & sent to labs both in & outside the UT to establish their safety & quality. Besides, the routine inspection of milk and milk products is done and the below standard samples are destroyed on prima facie condition & quality by the Food Safety Officers. The grievances are disposed off within the stipulated time as provided in the act.
The chairman directed the Designated officer to register all food units in Anantnag town by the end of March 2021 along with inspection cum awareness drive among the bakers with main focus on hygiene, quality & quantity of ingredients and shelf life of the end product. “Initially, the drive should be more of a hand holding and awareness type than an enforcement type,” he added.
He also directed to co – opt officials from Legal Metrology, Food and Municipalities in these drives. While highlighting the importance of conforming to the legal standards by food business units, retailers, bakers etc, he stressed upon officers to coordinate with each other so that the ultimate aim of providing quality and safe food to the citizens at genuine rates is envisaged.
Replying to a suggestion from DPO ICDS about ensuring nutritious, healthy & safe food in ICDS & MDM, he urged for issuance of advisories to the Decentralized Panchayat Food Procurement Committees associated with ICDS & MDM with provisions on list of better quality food sellers, flagging the harmful foods without indicating any bias to any brand or seller, fortification of food, special focus on malnutrition areas , incentivizing the best performing Panchayats etc. so that beneficiaries are benefited in the best possible way.
He also directed the concerned to ensure adherence to the laid down standards with respect to use of caffeinated drinks & warnings indicated therein besides total ban on selling of such drinks and Gutkhas to the children & minors.
All the participants including social activists, representatives from private food firms etc put on their valuable suggestions during the meeting.