New Delhi: In keeping with its Eat Right mission, FSSAI, the food regulator, has helped create a contingent of over a lakh food safety supervisor who would come handy in helping food handlers to self comply with food safety norms. This milestone is bound to unveil a robust food safety and hygiene ecosystem in food businesses of India.
With food emerging as critical component in the management of life style diseases and nutritional treatment approach gaining primacy, FSSAI, the food regulator of the country is duty bound to ensure food safety and hygiene. The training program initiated by FSSAI in right earnest will ensure the presence of stipulated number of food safety supervisors in food business operations.
The training and capacity building program named The Food Safety Training and Certification (FoSTaC) entailed 3,500 training sessions conducted in last 20 months since its inception in July 2017. The program aims at building capacities of food handlers across the value chain including micro, small, medium and large scale enterprises in the food sector.
Expressing happiness over attaining of milestone, Pawan Agarwal, CEO, FSSAI ( Food Safety and Standards Authority of India) congratulated the FoSTaC team across the country on this achievement. He said that this would definitely raise the bar for food safety and build a culture of self compliance for food safety in food businesses in the country.
FoSTaC has created a ripple effect with a Pan-India training network comprising of 169 Training Partners and over 1,500 empanelled Master Trainers who are conducting trainings across 3 levels of courses (basic, advanced and special) in a cascading model. With 17 courses across the levels, the FoSTaC training program stipulates that Food Business Operators are required to have at least one trained & certified Food Safety Supervisor for every 25 food handlers or part thereof in each of their premises.
The FoSTaC program runs through an online portal (www. fostac.fssai.gov.in/) that manages all kinds of trainings end-to-end through an effective delivery of entire course module by trained subject matter experts in association with Training Partners empanelled with FSSAI. Under the FoSTaC program, over 80,000 people have been trained in the organized sector and almost 18,000 people in un-organized sector including street food vendors and self-help groups till date.
FoSTaC has proved that food safety is a shared responsibility that aims to promote a culture of self-compliance in food businesses by making them more diligent towards food safety and hygiene in their premises through effective training and capacity building of their own staff. The success of this initiative lies on the power of partnership between stakeholders across the value chain and convergence towards enabling than policing as licensing & enforcement alone does not ensure food is safe for consumption.
Such an ecosystem will pave a way towards creating a sustainable model that can be replicated by other similar geographies across the globe.