Awareness campaign on safe food begins in city
Are you fed up with sub-standard foods, expired products sold at shops? Alert officials concerned and win prizes up to Rs. 5,00,00.
With this message the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India’s first major Information, Education, Communication (IEC) campaign has reached Coimbatore.
‘Food Safety Express,’ operated by Consumer Association of India roped in for the campaign will spend 45 days in the city.
The association project manager Kalyani Rajaraman told The Hindu over phone from Chennai that the Food Safety Express, launched at the State capital on January 17, was targeting to cover 620 locations in the five districts of Chennai, Vellore, Coimbatore, Madurai, and Tiruchi. The campaign would conclude on May 20.
She said that according to a research food and waterborne diseases constituted up to 70 per cent of all diseases in the country. Besides causing large numbers of mortality and morbidity, many households went deep into debt because of preventable diseases.
The Food Safety Express visited CMC Colony at Ukkadam, Karumbukadai, Townhall, and R.S.Puram, on Thursday. The staff at the express said that they were conducting demonstrations for consumers to easily find out if products had been adulterated.
The general public could bring instances of violations such as mislabelling to the notice of the authority. The national toll-free number is 1800 112 100.
Prizes were distributed for people who participated in various programmes organised by the express staff. Short films on food safety were shown on a television mounted on the vehicle. Pamphlets and handbills containing messages about the food safety in regional language was distributed. Equitas Development Initiative Trust, which works with women SHGs, was assisting the authority in the safety campaign.
Many stakeholders have come together to spread the message of safe food. They include the authority, Civil Supplies and Consumers Association of Tamil Nadu, Food Safety Commission – Tamil Nadu, Citizen Consumer Clubs in schools and colleges and voluntary consumer organisations besides food business operators.
Established under Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, the authority is an independent statutory body created for laying down scientific standards for food articles and regulate their manufacture, storage, distribution, sale and import to ensure availability of safe and wholesome food for human consumption.