CONSUMER CONVERSATION SERIES – FOOD SAFETY: EAT SAFE
As a part of monthly Consumer Conversation Series, Consumer VOICE organized the 5th seminar on the topic of ‘Food Safety: Eat Safe’ on June 22nd, 2017 at Gulmohar Hall, India Habitat Centre.
The food that we eat is it really safe? On any given day we are probably consuming chemicals and bacteria and other harmful for our body. Food safety is important for public health as foodborne diseases affects hundreds of people in India every day especially children. Food safety does not involve only maintenance of hygiene while cooking. Food safety starts right from the farm till it reaches our plates. It involves various stages - correct farming practices, use of pesticides, transportation, storage, retail and then finally our homes or restaurants. With new technologies emerging every day and climate change and other factors maintaining food safety has become challenge.
In India, FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India) play a significant role in forming and implementing food safety measures. Consumers too must ensure that the food safety standards are met while cleaning and handling different food products. Consumer awareness on this is much needed as different food article has different set standards for safety. The food industry must conduct quality checks from time to time and remove hazardous materials and take strict action if any norms are flouted.
Realising the importance of food safety and the need to create awareness across all sections, Consumer Voice will conduct a Consumer Conversation series on Food Safety on the 22nd of June, 2017 at Gulmohar Hall on Food Safety.
1. Shri Kumar Anil, Advisor (Standards), FSSAI
2. Ms. Indrani Ghose, Strategic Advisor - Food Safety & Quality, CII
3. Mr Kajal Debnath, Head - Scientific & Regulatory Affairs, Mother Dairy
The session began at 6:30 PM with tea & networking, followed by Introduction & Opening speech by Mr Ashim Sanyal, COO & Secretary, Consumer VOICE. He reiterated that Food Safety is not just about maintenance of hygiene while cooking & further elaborated as to why we need to ensure that proper food safety measures have been taken right from the farm until it reaches our plates.
After the introduction, the panel comprising of Ms Indrani Ghose, Strategic Advisor - Food Safety & Quality, Confederation of India Industry (CII), Mr Kumar Anil, Advisor (Standards), Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), Mr Kajal Debnath, Head - Scientific & Regulatory Affairs, Mother Dairy was welcomed on stage. Ms Ghose gave a brief presentation on the subject of Stakeholder Connect for Food Safety & Surakshit Khadya Abhiyan, post which Mr Kumar gave an introductory presentation about the process of setting standards & labels that ensure safe food. Lastly, the industry expert Mr Debnath talked about the role that Mother Dairy plays in provision of quality products to consumers & food fortification.
Mr Sanyal also informed the audience that VOICE conducts comparative testing of products & publishes the results through the magazine, website & social media. He thereby urged them to follow these updates & be aware of what they eat. A diverse audience comprising of enthusiastic participants from different backgrounds asked questions to the experts on the various aspects of food safety & expressed interest for more information that helps them in making better food choices. Some people also suggested that in addition to product testing, organisations must also try to assess the process of food preparation & packing.
At last, the session ended with note of thanks to panellists & audience. Thereby, the panellists were felicitated by Prof Sri Ram Khanna and copy of June issue of Consumer VOICE magazine was also distributed to the audience for more information.
The next talk is scheduled for 21st July, 2017 at Gulmohar Hall, India Habitat Centre at 6:30 PM. The theme of this talk will be ‘Real Estate Consumer Protection’ and the panel shall be drawn from Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum & Infrastructure Firms.