INDIA – In a concerted effort to bolster food safety measures and combat the menace of pesticide residue and contaminants in food products, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has embarked on an extensive awareness and sensitization program in collaboration with the Food Safety Department, Delhi.

Commencing its campaign from the bustling locales of Khan Market and INA Market on 8 April 2024, the initiative aims to raise awareness among traders and market associations regarding the detection and mitigation of pesticide residue and contaminants in food items.

Market associations and traders were actively engaged and educated on the detrimental effects of pesticide residue, particularly in fruits and vegetables, underlining the criticality of regular testing.

Introducing FSSAI’s “Food Safety on Wheel” mobile lab, equipped with rapid testing kits capable of detecting approximately 50 pesticide residues across various food matrices, attendees were empowered with swift testing solutions, ensuring expedited action to uphold food safety standards.

Traders were encouraged to leverage this resource for prompt testing and to uphold the safety and quality of products vended in the market.

Additionally, they were sensitized to a spectrum of food safety-related topics, including the imperative of acquiring FSSAI licenses or registration and strict adherence to food safety norms.

Stressing on the importance of sourcing raw materials solely from FSSAI licensed/registered vendors to ensure traceability and compliance further underscored the commitment to safeguarding consumer health.

Emphasizing raw material testing

The significance of raw material testing to ensure the safety and quality of food products was stressed during the program.

Attendees were also enlightened about the perils of artificial ripening and wax coating of fruits and vegetables using unapproved chemicals, while the role of organic farming in ensuring food safety was elucidated.

With the mantra, “Food Safety is Everyone’s Responsibility,” the event underlined the collective duty in ensuring food safety and the pivotal role of every stakeholder across the food supply chain.

As the apex food regulator in the country, FSSAI remains steadfast in its commitment to safeguarding public health through the rigorous implementation of robust food safety protocols nationwide.

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