SRINAGAR: Minister for Health & Medical Education, Taj Mohi-ud-Din has called for strict implementation of Food Safety Act in the State to ensure quality food and food products to the consumers.
While reviewing the functioning of the Food Control Organization, Kashmir at a meeting of officers held here today, the Minister emphasized for regular checking of food stations, restaurants, hotels to ensure quality and hygienic food items to the consumers. He directed all the concerned functionaries to strictly enforce the Food Safety Act and book the violators as per the provisions of the Act. He said health is the paramount concern of the Government and all necessary measures need to be taken to keep a check on the sale of adulterated and sub-standard food articles. He also called for vigorous awareness campaign to educate the masses about the consumption of quality and hygienic food products.
Underlining the importance of hygienic food articles, the Minister directed the officers to conduct regular interaction with the owners of restaurants, dhabas, hotels and other food outlets in the city and periphery to educate them to maintain food safety standards as per the Act in force. They must be enlightened about the repercussions of health hazards due to adulterated and sub-standard food articles which attract penalty and other punishments, the Minister said. He also called for close coordination between different agencies like Municipal Corporations, Municipal Committees dealing with the issue to achieve tangible results on ground. He directed for proper functioning and streamlining of the organization.
While briefing the Minister about the performance of the organization, the Controller Food Organization, Dr. Baldev Sharma informed that during the year 2013-14, the organization booked 422 shopkeepers for violation of Food Safety Act and realized a fine to the tune of Rs. 31 lakh. The Organization also collected revenue on account of renewal of licences etc to the tune of Rs. 1.25 crore. He assured that the organization will take more reformative steps to ensure proper implementation of the Act on ground. He said the organization has already geared up its men and material to improve its overall functioning.
Commissioner/Secretary Health & Medical Education, Gazanffer Hussain, Deputy Controller Drugs & Food, Kashmir Mr. Nazir Ahmed Wani, Assistant Controller, Mr. Sanjeev Gupta, all Designated Officers of Kashmir Valley were also present in the meeting.