Central team finds J&K food labs ‘partially’ fit

A two-member team of experts from the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) inspected the two Food Testing Laboratories in Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday for assessing their facilities and the quality of food testing.
Central team finds J&K food labs ‘partially’ fit

A two-member team of experts from the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) inspected the two Food Testing Laboratories in Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday for assessing their facilities and the quality of food testing.

The inspection happened after the High Court directed the government to ascertain whether food safety measures were being taken in the state.

An official, who witnessed the inspection at the Srinagar lab, told Greater Kashmir on the condition of anonymity that food safety standards were being met partially in the state because the labs lacked microbiological testing facilities.

"The team also pointed out shortcomings in sample storage and the legal issues involved," he said.

The team comprised Lalitha R Gowda, member scientific committee FSSAI, and Shailendra Kumar, assistant director Quality Assurance at FSSAI's central division, who also is in charge of empanelment and accreditation of food testing laboratories.

Controller Food and Drugs (J&K) Lotika Khajuria said the inspection report will be submitted by the team to the High Court soon. 

"The team will share a sealed report with the High Court only. We do not know the results of inspection ourselves," she said.

Hearing a Public Interest Litigation, the High Court had directed the chief executive officer of the FSSAI to depute a qualified team for inspecting the two food labs in J&K and whether they met the criteria laid out in the Food Safety and Standard Act 2006.

In March last year, after Greater Kashmir published a series of reports about food safety in Kashmir, the High Court took suo moto cognisance of the issue.

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