Food Safety Index 2023

Context
Recently, the State Food Safety Index 2023 has been released by Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). Highlights of the Index:
  • Aim: The aim is to create a competitive and positive change in the food safety ecosystem in the country.
  • Objective:
    • The Food Safety Index evaluates the performance of states and Union Territories based on five different aspects.
    • These include human resources and institutional data, compliance, food-testing facility, training and capacity building, and consumer empowerment.
  • State-wise assessment:
    • Among larger states, Kerala secured the top ranking in the State Food Safety Index.
    • In the smaller states category, Goa emerged as the leader, demonstrating exemplary efforts in maintaining high food safety standards.
    • Amongst the union territories, Jammu and Kashmir, Delhi, and Chandigarh secured the first, second, and third rank, respectively.
  • Initiatives taken: To further strengthen food safety practices, FSSAI released three manuals that provide guidance and analysis methods.
    • The Manual of Methods of Analysis of Foods – Fish & Fish Products,
    • Manual of Methods of Analysis of Foods – Cereal and Cereal Products – 2nd editions, and
    • Manual of Methods of Analysis of Foods – Beverages: Tea, Coffee & Chicory aim to align food analysis with technological advancements and promote adherence to safety standards.
  • Training and Infrastructure Development:
    • To ensure food quality standards across the country, the union Health minister announced that the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) will train 25 lakh food business operators in the next three years.
    • This initiative aims to enhance the knowledge and skills of food industry professionals, ultimately promoting safer food practices.
    • In addition, the union Health minister unveiled plans to set up 100 Food Streets across the country.
    • These Food Streets will serve as benchmarks for food safety, hygiene, and nutrition, ensuring that consumers have access to quality food in a conducive environment.

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