“Readily accessible and affordable to urban populations, street food provides the energy and nutrient needs to large segments of workers and their families in the cities. This sector is also a source of livelihood for a large number of people. Hence the standard developed by BIS has immense potential to safeguard public health and also promote the confidence of the consumer over the entire spectrum of food industry,” said Thomas.
Thomas was addressing National Seminar on “Food Safety – Role of Standards” in Mumbai on Monday. The seminar was organized with objective of creating awareness and to provide an insight into the concept of food safety with emphasis on the role of standards.
Stressing over safety of food and quality, the Minister said that as awareness regarding food safety issues among our citizens and concerns bout the hazards in food is showing an upward trend, the need to provide them with greater assurance about the safety and quality of food is also growing.
“Role of standards in the domain of food safety is immense. Standards promote public health and protect consumers from unsanitary, unwholesome, mislabelled or adulterated food; and provide a sound regulatory foundation for domestic and international trade in food,” Thomas said.
He said that in this background, the role of BIS, the National standards body of India is significant.BIS has also formulated about 1000 Indian Standards in the area of food products and food safety.
This includes IS/ISO 22000: 2005 ‘Food Safety Management Systems – Requirements for any organization in the food chain’. IS/ISO 22000: 2005 is an internationally harmonized standard and has emerged as the international bench mark for food safety.
Thomas said that similarly, the three Indian Standards recently formulated by BIS, Indian Standards on Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), Good Hygienic Practices (GHP) and Food Retail Management (FRM) are also important in this respect as they are envisaged to act as foundations of Food Safety Management System.
“They delineate the basic conditions and activities that are necessary to maintain a hygienic environment throughout the food chain suitable for the production, handling and provision of safe end products for human consumption. He expressed hope that Implementation of these food safety standards can lead to exceptional improvements in food safety performance,” he said.