Nagaland observes World Food Safety Day
Dimapur, June 7 (EMN): Principal Secretary and Food Safety Commissioner to the Govt. of Nagaland, Amardeep Singh Bhatia on Monday said that it is important to ensure a safe food chain for people, animals, plants and economy so that everyone is protected in the future.
He was speaking on the occasion of World Food Safety Day observed at the State Public Health Laboratory, CMO office, on Monday. It was organised by Food Safety Nagaland, department of Health and Family Welfare, an update informed.
Bhatia in his keynote speech said June 7 was designated as World Safety Day in 2018 with the ‘objective to mainstream the food safety awareness to the general public with special concerns on the impact of disease passed on by food’.
He also shared that Naga society was gradually shifting in food habits and lifestyle “which is posing a threat therefore it is very important to take action and regulatory authorities should take up responsibilities for creating awareness on consumption of food.”
“ It is also necessary to ensure that food producers like restaurants, food chain suppliers, food stalls should know about the importance of food hygiene and the authorities should not only enforce but encourage hygiene etiquette to producers,” it read.
Later, he encouraged all the officials to work jointly with all the available resources and to ensure safe food, healthy lifestyle and consumption habits for a healthy tomorrow.
The programme also included a demonstration-cum-interactive discussion on food safety issues relating to the state led by Khrukutolu Veswuh, Food Analyst (SPHL) and her team. The demonstrations were on how to identify fresh/stale eggs, identify contaminated water and identify food colouring in edible produce. The team requested the gathering to spread awareness on food safety to prevent food borne diseases by advocating food hygiene.
Dr. John Kemp, Deputy Director, acknowledged the department for allowing hosting the observation programme. He mentioned that it was ‘humbling, motivating and encouraging to witness all officials from Secretariat, Directorate and District to come together’ signifying concern for the importance of food safety.
Nagaland Voluntary Consumers’ Organisation (NVCO) on Monday also observed ‘World Food Safety Day’ to raise awareness at all levels, promote and facilitate actions for food safety. An update from NVCO stated that food safety is critical in ensuring that food stays safe at every stage of the food chain – from production to harvest, processing, storage, distribution all the way to preparation and consumption.
President of NVCO Kezhokhoto Savi speaking during the occasion spoke on the importance of clean and hygienic food adding that citizens of the state must realise that this day is celebrated to draw the attention and inspire action to help, prevent, detect and manage food borne risks and so contributing to food security, human health, economy prosperity, tourism and sustainable development.
“With the pandemic in place many parts of the world celebrated this day through virtual medium, through social media awareness campaigns and posts,” an update informed.
It stated that food safety was a shared responsibility between governments, producers and consumers. It further informed that Nagaland has only level-2 laboratory in the entire North East, the equipment fully funded by the Food Safety and Standard Authority of India(FSSAI) situated at State Public Health Laboratory in Kohima.
Savi suggested that food business operators (FBOs) come forward in bringing their products/food item/sample to get tested in the laboratory situated at Paramedical in Kohima before they sell it to consumers.