New Delhi : The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has asked all States and Union territories to initiate a special drive to implement its Food Safety and Certification Programme (FoSTac) for all licensed food business operators. It has also asked them to appoint a nodal officer to implement this initiative.
This FSSAI dictat to States comes after it had made training and certification mandatory for all food businesses that have Central or State licenses.
“It has been decided that all food businesses with Central and State license need to have at least one trained and certified food safety supervisor for every 25 food handlers or part thereof on all their premises,” it stated in its order. These food safety supervisors will need to carry out periodic on site training of all food handlers on a quarterly basis and need to maintain a record for all food safety audit and inspections.
“State and UTs need to designate a senior officer as a nodal officer for FoSTac to implement the policy,” the order stated.
For the implementation of this policy, FSSAI has designed the curriculum and content for training for food businesses across the value chain in Hindi and 10 regional languages.
The training will be delivered through training partners, which include large food businesses, industry associations, academic and vocational institutions, other partners approved under Skill Development Councils among others. It has now even set up a website managing these training programmes, certification and assessment.
Besides appointing nodal officers, States will now need to develop an action plan for training of food safety supervisors and food handlers on a mandatory basis. They will also need to identify and facilitate empanelment of training partners to implement FoSTac.