In a significant development, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has authorized the Food Testing Laboratory (FTL) Dalgate, Srinagar to perform the testing/analysis of food samples with immediate effect, as mandated under the provisions of Food Safety & Standards Act 2006.
In the month of December 2020, the apex authority had among other Food Laboratories of various States de-notified the FTL Srinagar for the want of NABL accreditation, a primary criteria under FSS Act, 2006 for authorization of food testing and analysis. Subsequently, enforcement food samples of Kashmir Division were referred to Food Laboratory Jammu for analysis.
It was made incumbent upon all the State Governments to seek NABL certification of all the Laboratories which have been de-notified before seeking their re-notification under section 43 of the Act.
Recently, National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL), a constituent board of Quality Council of India (QCI), granted accreditation in accordance with ISO/IEC 17025:2017 to FTL, Dalgate in the discipline of chemical testing for quality assurance.
Pursuant to NABL accreditation, the FSSAI has notified/ authorized FTL Srinagar as primary Laboratory under Section 43(1) of FSSA2006 for analyzing all the food samples (including legal samples)with immediate effect.
The Department of Food & Drugs Administration, J&K is on date equipped with two Analytical Food Testing Laboratories situated at Jammu and Srinagar both these Labs are now accredited by NABL (National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration of Laboratories) to conduct the analysis of food articles and ingredients.
Furthermore, both the laboratories are augmented with high end equipment like FTIR, LC-MS, LC-MSMS, GC-MS MS and ICP-MS to meet the highest standards of testing/precision with regard to detection and quantification of adulterants, toxins and contaminants.
Meanwhile, the Commissioner FDA today reviewed the working of food testing laboratories and other food safety measures in a meeting held here.
The Deputy Commissioner Food Safety Kashmir, Drug Analyst Kashmir, Administrative officer DFCO, Assistant Commissioner Food Safety Srinagar, Food Analyst Kashmir and other senior Officers of the Department participated in the meeting.
It was impressed upon the technical experts of the laboratories that all high end equipment shall be put in operation for testing of heavy metals, antibiotic residue, pesticide residue, naturally occurring contaminants/toxins and other adulterants in food samples to assure that the food products conforms to the prescribed legal standards mandated under the Act and are safe to consume.
The Department with a view to instil the confidence and trust among the consumers, has put in place the services of Mobile Food Testing Laboratories for on-spot testing of food items.
The Commissioner FDA has appealed to the consumers to come forward and play an active role in identifying the lapses on the part of FBOs or the enforcement staff so that corrective measures as envisaged under the Act are taken.
The consumers may file a complaint with regard to the quality/sale of food either through email: [email protected] or contact us on mobile No: 9596089227/7006773447.
Further the consumers can also seek onspot testing of food samples by the mobile food testing vans for which the Deputy Commissioner Food safety of the respective Divisions can be contacted on these 9796201517/ 7006351401 numbers.