In its response to the Standing Parliamentary Health Committee (which recently presented a report on its recommendation in Parliament), the former Food Inspectorate stated that RBIS categorizes food businesses according to the risk involved, which forms the basis for prioritizing and inspecting frequency.
The data from RBIS has been shared with states and UTs, and they have been asked and directed to conduct inspections of FBOs’ premises based on their risk-based classification of license or registration data.
The FSSAI added that the proposed Food Compliance System (FoSCoS) for better monitoring of FBOs will take into account the requested comprehensive reports, which will help to better monitor FBOs, while the implementation of the FoSCoRIS and this data will help to collect large amounts of data in better monitoring of FBOs.
FSSAI has also developed an IT solution platform for the India Food Laboratory Network (INFOLNET).
“This laboratory management system (LMS) is a central system that connects and summarizes the laboratory network. The information in INFOLNET would help categorize laboratories for convenience i.e. regulatory requirements, routine testing, pellet testing, etc. This LMS will also be a one-stop portal for gathering information on a food testing laboratory ranging from owner details, Availability of the infrastructure, technical capacity, scope of the tests up to the test results of different samples ”, it is said in the answer of the FSSAI to the committee.
In addition, the FSSAI has asked states and UTs to conduct studies on milk and oils (trans fatty acids). The samples are only sent to the private laboratories located on INFOLNET for analysis. Recently, the FSSAI also tested a staging server to integrate the Food Import Certification System (FICS) with INFoLNeT. The authorized staff, in collaboration with some of the laboratories that carry out imports, verify the effectiveness of the food testing system.
The committee had recommended the introduction of a risk-based inspection program. Inspectors should properly record the inspections performed and all states and UTs should establish an electronic database of food defects and inspection reports.
Regarding food-borne disease outbreaks and other related issues, the FSSAI responded that it had directed the food safety officers to request health secretaries to appoint each district’s food safety officer (FSO) as a member of the rid response Team (RRT) as part of the Integrated Diseases Surveillance Program (IDSP), which will carry out the activities named therein. This instruction would allow government agencies to receive notification of incidents / outbreaks of foodborne diseases as they occur and take appropriate action.
In order to have a fully functional and robust system for monitoring foodborne diseases, the FSSAI is working with the WHO to develop a platform with the ability to generate alerts as soon as incidents of foodborne diseases are reported, take appropriate and rapid action and maintain a database of all im Country reported foodborne illnesses / incidents.
This will be integrated into the Integrated Health Information Services (IHIS) platform, which is already being developed by WHO in coordination with IDSP in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.