FSSAI undertakes steps to improve consumer awareness with respect to food adulteration

Food Safety and Standards Authority of India conducts regular surveillance, monitoring, inspection and random sampling of food products to check compliance of standards
Food Safety on Wheels
Food Safety on WheelsPhoto - FSSAI

Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), through States/UTs and its regional offices, conducts regular surveillance, monitoring, inspection, and random sampling of food products to check compliance with the standards laid down under Food Safety and Standards Act 2006, Rules and Regulations made thereunder. In cases where the food samples are found to be non-conforming, penal action is initiated against the defaulting Food Business Operators as per provisions of the FSS Act, Rules, and Regulations made thereunder. 

Based on information made available by the States/UTs, details of various food samples collected, analyzed, found non-conforming, and actions taken in the last five years are given below.

FSSAI has developed a pan-India surveillance system that helps collect data regarding the safety and quality of food and ensures that the food supply in the market is safe and wholesome. Such surveillance activities aim to identify hotspots of food safety non-compliance and adulteration.

 FSSAI carried out surveillance activities pan-India of various commodities as under:

  1. National Milk Survey 2016.

  2. National Milk Quality Survey 2018.

  3. Milk and Milk Products Survey 2020.

  4. Edible Oils Survey 2020.

  5. PAN India Food Survey 2021 - For Trans-fat & Acrylamide Content.

  6. National Milk Survey 2022.

  7. Jaggery Surveillance 2022.

In the said surveys, the possible adulterants in the commodity were tested and reported. In all the surveillance activities, efforts were made to ascertain the degree of adulteration, identify hotspots (regions) predominant in food adulteration, and ensure compliance with the quality & safety parameters. Post pan-India Surveillance activities; the State-wise non-compliance data are shared with concerned States/UTs to initiate the regulatory sampling and take penal action wherever necessary. The reports of such surveillance activities are available in the public domain at www.fssai.gov.in.

FSSAI has taken many steps to improve consumer awareness concerning food adulteration. The steps are as follows: 

  1. FSSAI, through its YouTube channel, has created a dedicated playlist, How to check for adulteration, containing 76 short videos for checking adulteration. These videos are regularly uploaded on social media (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook).

  2. FSSAI has taken out a manual named DART (Detecting Adulterants with Rapid Testing). This manual is a compilation of some common adulterants and contaminants that can be tested by citizens themselves. It covers common adulterants in food products such as Oils and fats, Sweetening Agents, Food Grains & their products, Pulses, Spices, Salt, Tea, Coffee, artificial and toxic colors, extraneous matters in food, added deliberately or otherwise. This manual's scope and foremost aim to create awareness in consumers about food adulteration detection methodology for use at the household level, too. This has been disseminated through social media and uploaded on the FSSAI website for general public information.

  3. Awareness through Exhibitions/Melas/Outreach activities at various events like AAHAR International Food & Hospitality Fair/ Indus Food / India International Trade Fair/ International Dairy Federation World Dairy Summit 2022/ Mega Expo & Science Book Fair 2022 etc. Stalls have been placed in these exhibitions where awareness through live demonstrations of detecting adulteration through Magic Box was displayed for the general public.

  4. Food Safety on Wheels (FSW): FSSAI has introduced mobile food testing vans called Food Safety on Wheels (FSW) to reach remote areas and conduct training and awareness activities. These mobile units are well-equipped mobile food testing labs for conducting simple tests for common adulterants in milk, water, edible oil, and other food items of daily consumption. These FSWs are placed in different Exhibitions.

  5. Food Safety Guidebook for Teachers/Students: The lesson plan booklet provides detailed information on conducting the different tests on food adulteration. These tests are mapped across the curriculum of the particular grade. These lesson plans are effective ways to enhance the students' learning.  These books are available for free in eBook format and can be easily downloaded at https://eatrightindia.gov.in/eatrightschool/learning-books.

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