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May, 17 2017

​FSSAI to collaborate with corporate entities and academic institutions for FoSTaC program

The regulator will also define 'junk food' before imposing further taxes on packaged food products with high fat, salt and sugar content, the executive said.

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is in the process to come up with new food labelling regulations related to packaged food products, based on the recommendations made by the expert group, said Pawan Agarwal, the chief executive officer of FSSAI. 

The regulator will also define 'junk food' before imposing further taxes on packaged food products with high fat, salt and sugar content, the executive said.

"We are making big changes in labelling," said Agarwal.

An expert panel set up by FSSAI has recommended additional tax on highly processed food items and sugar-laced beverages as well as a ban on advertising of junk foods on children channels or during kids shows on TV.

Agarwal said that FSSAI is also looking to bring in regulation which will require every food business operator to have at least one trained and qualified food safety supervisor at its premise.

Agarwal added, "Going forward we will amend the regulations where over a period of time every food business operator will require to have one trained and qualified food handler at their disposal."

Agarwal also added, "Obviously there will be a time lag. We will give a couple of years time before the requirement that all food businesses should have one person who is trained and certified in food safety. And before we start amending our regulations we had already created a ecosystem where such large scale training can begin to happen."

FSSAI will collaborate with corporate entities and academic institutions for Food Safety Training and Certification (FoSTaC) program, where the regulator will be launching 19 short-term courses to train food handlers. The body hopes that the trained staff will in turn educate people working alongside him thus taking the food hygiene and safety standards in the country several notches up.

The regulator also launched a interactive portal to educate consumers and help them with grievance redressal.

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