Don’t be surprised if you come across a van on the street carrying a logo of FSSAI in the upcoming days. That is the new way to create awareness among the masses. Those days are long gone when the food retailer torment you with a pack of stale or lure you with a delicious-looking burger that smells bad otherwise. Recently, FSSAI has come up with a groundbreaking initiative for creating awareness regarding food safety among the masses by deploying mobile vans for food testing. These mobile vans are known as “Food Safety on Wheels (FSW)”. The job of FSW is to examine food quality against the predetermined standards. Under this program, FSSAI’ official can visit any food establishment (with or without FSSAI License) to inspect of quality of the food items.
What is Food Safety on Wheels (FSW)?
FSSAI has deployed mobile vans to create awareness among the mass regarding food safety. These vans shall be deployed pan India. The job of these vehicles is to approach different zone and determine the quality of the raw material used for the preparation of the food item. These vans are outfitted with the latest generation testing devices which are capable of giving accurate results in a fraction of time. The authorities reserve the right to forbidden expired and adulterated food items.
The initiative by the FSSAI will allow the masses to get accustomed with vulnerabilities related to the food item. Today most of the food items are being adulterated with harmful and toxic substances, thus it becomes extremely important for the masses to track those anomalies upfront before consumption. This initiative will make sure that food item available at the shops is 100% safe and free from anomalies.
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Building Awareness Regarding Food item
Apart from examining food samples for adulteration and contamination, these mobile units would be used for awareness building on account of hygiene, food safety, & promoting healthy eating habits in the public domain at large. Additionally, Food Safety on Wheels (FSWs) would assist the field officials working in the states to boost their outreach and perform surveillance activities in the remote areas.
Activities to be performed by FSW (Food Safety on Wheels)
According to the operational manual of FSSAI, the Food Safety on Wheels (FSW) shall be liable to perform three essential activities. These are as follow:
Food business operators (FBOs) across the nation need to get familiarize with best practices and various procedures regarding food safety and hygiene. Through FSW these entities can avail training regarding food safety. Food Safety on Wheels (FSW) will act as a training platform for FBOs and it will available all across the nation including villages, towns, and remote areas. This will give them access to an unorganized sector engaged with street food vending, manufacturing, street food vending, fish and seafood, milk products, catering along with organized food businesses.
In the economic slowdown and financial crisis, most of the FBOs engaged with the malpractices like adulteration, using poor quality raw materials, or providing unsafe food items to the customers. These adulterated foods are potentially hazardous for the human health & safety of the people. Food Safety on Wheels (FSW) is a feature-packed mobile lab that is outfitted with the latest testing devices that are capable of detecting potential anomalies in the food sample in a fraction of seconds.
Food safety needs to be taken seriously as it is directly associated with human life. With increased reach, FSW tries to proactively engage in informing individuals and business owners who considered food safety is an optional thing. FSSAI has adopted a holistic approach to make sure that information reached every vertical of society. Food Safety on Wheels (FSW) will strive to share the information through intuitive distribution modes such as booklets and flyers.
Sampling Procedure to be adopted by Mobile Units
As per the FSSAI guideline, the mobile units shall procure 5 to 8 samples per location/product for testing. Apart from testing, these vans also track down exposures to food additives as well as consumption patterns. Routine sampling will be done to examine the safety & quality of the foods manufactured and distributed.
All routine samples shall be procured anonymously by the FSSAI’s officials and will be examined through a predetermined procedure by the appointed analyst. The label on the food sample shall indicate the type of analysis to be conducted (Quantitative/Chemical/Qualitative/ Microbiological).
Type of Equipment to be used by FSW for Testing the Food Sample
According to FSSAI’s manual for Food Safety on Wheels (FSW), the mobile units should be outfitted with the following equipment for testing the food sample:-
The digital is a weight measuring device that is typically used in chemistry labs for weighing various chemicals and substances to the milligram level. These instruments are very sensitive and seek periodic calibration to render an accurate result.
Digital Multi-Parameter Hand Held Meter
These devices are typically used to measure the pH value of various substances including food items.
A digital refractometer is an ideal device for measuring the solid content in the given liquid sample. It works on the principle of refraction.
Rapid Milk Screening Apparatus
This equipment is used to detect the level of adulteration in dairy products.
Hot Air Oven
Hot Air Oven is a test cabinet used to trace the changes in physical traits of the material. Apart from that, it is also used for sterilization.
In the lab, hot plates are utilized to heat glassware as well as its contents. It is generally equipped with a magnetic stirrer which allows liquid to be stirred automatically.
A detailed and definitive approach towards food safety & hygiene is the most crucial attribute to achieve a happy & healthy India. Food safety needs to be practiced at every stage of a food lifecycle, from raw material processing to production, distribution, and consumption. FSSAI, provides Food Safety on Wheels (FSW)a feature-packed vehicle that will be used for information sharing and acts as a platform where one can avail of training regarding food safety and testing.
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