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13th June 2022 (6 Topics)

Food safety index

Context

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) have recently released the State Food Safety Index (SFSI) 2021-22.

About

State Food Safety Index (SFSI):

  • FSSAI has developed State Food Safety Index to measure the performance of states on various parameters of Food Safety.
  • The SFSI is released annually for a financial year.
  • This index is based on performance of State/ UT on five significant parameters, namely,
  • Human Resources and Institutional Data,
  • Compliance,
  • Food Testing – Infrastructure and Surveillance,
  • Training & Capacity Building and
  • Consumer Empowerment
  • The Index is a dynamic quantitative and qualitative benchmarking model that provides an objective framework for evaluating food safety across all States/UTs.
  • It is the 4th in series of State Food Safety Index (SFSI) since its inception in 2018-19.

Food safety parameters:

The SFSI takes into account the performance of the states on five key parameters, each of which is assigned a different weightage in the assessment.

  • Human resources & institutional data: This carries a weightage of 20% and measures the “availability of human resources like number of Food Safety Officers, Designated Officers facility of adjudications and appellate tribunals, functioning of State/ District level Steering Committees, pendency of cases and their monitoring and participation in Central Advisory Committee meetings of the Food Authority”.
  • Compliance: This carries the highest weightage, 30%. “This is the most important parameter and measures overall coverage of food businesses in licensing & registration commensurate with size and population of the State/UTs.
  • Food testing—infrastructure and surveillance: Weighted at 20%, this measures the “availability of adequate testing infrastructure with trained manpower in the States/ UTs for testing food samples”.
  • Training & Capacity Building:This parameter carries the lowest weightage, at 10%. It measures states’ performance on training and capacity building of regulatory staff.
  • Consumer Empowerment: This carries a weightage of 20%. It evaluates the states and UTs on their performance on various consumer empowering initiatives of FSSAI, such as participation in Food Fortification, Eat Right Campus, BHOG (Blissful Hygienic Offering to God), Hygiene Rating of Restaurants, Clean Street Food Hubs, etc.

State Food Safety Index (SFSI) 2022:

  • The states and Union Territories are not assessed and ranked together. They are segregated into three categories — large states, small states and UTs.
  • In the category of the 20 large states, Tamil Nadu with an overall score of 82 out of 100 has performed the best.
  • Andhra Pradesh with an overall score of 26 has been ranked at the bottom —17th place (some states share a common rank).
  • Among the eight small states, Goa with a score of 56 has been ranked at the top, while Arunachal Pradesh (rank 8th and score 21) is at the bottom.
  • Among the eight Union Territories, Jammu and Kashmir with a score of 68.5 has been ranked 1st and Lakshadweep (score 16) as the bottom. Delhi with a score of 66 has been ranked at 2nd place.

FSSAI

  • FSSAI is a statutory body established under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006.
  • It helps in ensuring healthy and nutritious food to the people.
  • It worked to motivate Smart Cities to develop and execute a plan that supports a healthy, safe and sustainable food environment by adopting various Eat Right India initiatives.
  • Aim: The index started in 2018-19 and was meant to create a competitive and positive change in the food safety ecosystem in the country.
  • The step was also taken to galvanize states and union territories to work towards ensuring safe food for citizens.
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