INDIA – The Department of Food Safety in India has organized a Food Safety Training and Certification (FoSTaC) training program for food business operators (FBOs) on basic hygiene, sanitation, storage and other important parameters related to food safety.

The training program was organized on the directions of Deputy Commissioner Rajouri, Rajesh K Shavan, and inaugurated by the Additional District Development Commissioner (ADDC) Rajouri, Pawan Kumar.

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has made FoSTaC training mandatory for all Central and State Licensed FBOs in pursuance of the Food Safety and Standards Act (FSS) 2006. It initiated the FoSTac  training in July 2017.

The authority recommends that all licensed food businesses must have at least one trained and certified   Food Safety Supervisor  under FoSTaC for every 25 food handlers in each premise.

The training will help food handlers to gain advanced expertise and adhere to the required guidelines in order to provide clean, hygienic, safe food to the customers.

Addressing the participants, the ADDC asked the food business operators to keep good quality food and maintain hygienic practices including personal hygiene and sanitation of the food chain right from the farm to plate and keep the infrastructure and surrounding neat and clean.

He also urged them to adopt and disseminate a clear message to use fortified food and limit consumption of high fat, sugar and salt foods.

The FBOs were also asked to strictly adhere to the norms of the Food and Safety act failure to which they would face the consequences.

FoSTaC offers nine different types of courses meant for different types of food business on different competency level. The training programs for the Food Safety Supervisors at all 3 levels, i.e., Basic, Advanced and Special, would be conducted through the classroom sessions.

The content for FoSTaC has been created by experts to address the specific needs of each of these identified groups.

According to FSSAI’s Chief Executive Officer, the development of such a large training capacity is a testimony to the fact that the country is undergoing major transformation as far as food safety is concerned.

In the past one and a half years, a total of 63,000 food safety supervisors have been trained in over 2,500 training courses. Thus far, FSSAI has partnered with about 143 training partners.

FoSTaC trainings are expected to bring in a culture of self-compliance on food safety measures amongst the food business and  raise the bar for food safety and hygiene in the country.

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