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39 food safety laboratories are being upgraded as part of the central laboratory’s Infra program

As part of the Central Sector Scheme to modernize the country’s laboratory infrastructure, 39 State Food Safety Laboratories (SFTLs) from 29 states and UTs were used to modernize on April 1, 2021.

These labs include 26 microbiology labs in 19 states and UTs, while 02 of 25 state labs are upgrading only for microbiology, according to a laboratory upgrade notice from the FSSAI.

According to the FSSAI, a total grant of Rs. 313.98 billion (including Rs. 290.15 billion for high-end devices / basic SFTLs) has so far been released for the modernization of these laboratories. This also includes the granting of Rs 60 lakh each to some states / UT for the procurement of consumables at Rs 10 lakh / year for 3 years and for the fulfillment of contingent liabilities at Rs 10 lakh / year for 3 years.

The FSSAI implements a central sector system to „strengthen the food testing system in the country including the provision of mobile food testing laboratories” with a total expenditure of 481.95 billion rupees. The program will strengthen 45 state food testing laboratories and include at least one food testing laboratory in each state and two in larger states to be supported.

According to the FSSAI, modernizing laboratories would enable states to analyze the regulatory and monitoring samples taken by the FSO in a very short space of time.

„In addition, it will be useful in analyzing the safety parameters in food samples such as heavy metals, pesticide residues, antibiotic and drug residues, and naturally occurring toxic substances along with microbiological tests,” the FSSAI announcement said.

The FSSAI notice added that the update will also help ensure compliance with FSSAI food standards and introduce an online laboratory data management system through the Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS).