Food Safety Of Over 60 Lakh People In The Hands Of Only 10 FDA Officers
According to a report by the Times of India, ever since the formation of the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) till date, the number of food safety officers is the same in Nashik. Then and now, only 10 officers are available to keep a check on food stalls and eateries in every nook and corner that feed more than 60 lakh people. These 10 have to ensure that the food being sold is safe and hygienic for the masses to eat.
10 Officers To The Rescue
“The number of food safety officers have been the same ever since the office came into existence decades ago. In Nashik district, initially there were 12 posts, which were reduced to 10 sometime back,” a food safety officer told the Times of India. “With changing times, the population has increased, markets have increased, new varieties of food products have arrived in the market, and different items are produced from a same fruit or vegetable. The food safety officers cannot be everywhere and no food seller of producer, however small or big, can be given the benefit of doubt,” he added.
The officer also told the publication that during a raid, they are all on their own. They seize the adulterated food items, make arrangements for a vehicle to pick them up, make a report and send it to the senior officer. The officers who talked to the publication said that there should be at least 50 officers in Nashik along with three assistants for each of them.
“It is a fact that the number of posts are less,” Chandrashekhar Salunke, joint director, FDA (food) Nashik told the Times of India. “However, all sanctioned posts are filled and we are duty bound to ensure that citizens get only pure and unadulterated food and other items. We are making the best use of the available officers to provide quality service to the citizens.”