Delhi NCR gets FSSAI’s National Food Laboratory, Mumbai & Chennai next

The National Food Laboratory is furnished with a comprehensive array of equipment with the latest technologies and facilities to conduct analysis as per global accreditation standards for testing and calibration. FSSAI will also be establishing NFLs at Mumbai and Chennai in the near future along the same lines

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Image-The Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare, Science & Technology and Earth Sciences, Dr Harsh Vardhan visiting after inaugurating the renovated National Food Laboratory (NFL), at Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh on August 23, 2019. The Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Mr Ashwini Kumar Choubey is also seen.

New Delhi: “We not only have to provide right food, but also ensure that there is strict implementation of laws and the compliance of standards to assure that citizens have safe and wholesome food.” This was stated by Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare at the inauguration of the first ever state-of-the-art National Food Laboratory-Delhi, NCR of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) at Ghaziabad.

The Union Health Minister also laid the foundation stone of the FSSAI Tower along with the Minister of State (HFW), Mr Ashwini Kumar Choubey. At the function, Dr Harsh Vardhan released a report “Food Laboratories in India: a Meta Study” and awarded Certificate of Recognition to 13 National Reference Laboratories.

Speaking at the inaugural event that also marked the 13th anniversary of the Food Authority since the Food Safety and Standards Act came into effect in 2006, Dr Harsh Vardhan stated that health has become one of the top priorities of this government and it reflects that the Prime Minister is committed to fundamentally transforming the country and give quality health services to the people. “This could be gauged from the fact that there is now a network of food testing laboratories established in the country and recognized by FSSAI. Such laboratories have increased to 261 as of now from 138 during the year 2014,” he elaborated.

Dr Harsh Vardhan also commended FSSAI for taking the initiative to operationalize a system to approve the rapid kits and tests. This approval system, a first of its kind in terms of regulatory provisioning, would help hasten decision making by the regulatory officials and also provide a quicker means to create information base on emerging risks as well as ground realities of safety issues. “I am glad to know that FSSAI has brought out a simple lab in a box which is named Food Safety Magic Box with a compilation of 101 easy tests. It will serve as the best pedagogical tool to educate children about the concept of safe food. The Magic Box would certainly enhance the engagement and build scientific temper to unleash creative potential among students through simple and fun experiments around food”, he stated.

On this occasion, Dr Harsh Vardhan also presented the State of Uttar Pradesh with two “Food Safety on Wheels (FSW)vans”to cater to the food testing requirements in Ghaziabad and Western UP. These mobile food-testing vans would be utilized for training and awareness-building activities as well. He stated that in near future 500 such food safety and testing vans shall be available to support the States in ensuring food safety.

The National Food Laboratory (NFL), Delhi, NCR, former Food Research & Standardized Laboratory (FRSL, Ghaziabad) is one of the two premier referral laboratories under the direct administrative control of FSSAI. NFL-Delhi, NCR, renovated and operationalized under a unique Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) model is the first of its kind venture in the food sector. It also houses state-of-the-art collaborative training centers namely The Food Safety Solution Centre (FSSC) and Centre for Microbiological Analysis Training (C-MAT).

NFL-Delhi, NCR symbolizes synchronization of policy driven partnerships and collaboration with a holistic approach and a future vision. The NFL is furnished with a comprehensive array of equipment with the latest technologies and facilities to conduct analysis as per global accreditation standards for testing and calibration. FSSAI will also be establishing NFLs at Mumbai and Chennai in the near future along the same lines.

The FSSAI Tower situated at NFL-Delhi, NCR, has been envisaged to accommodate not only additional manpower but also host visiting faculty and trainee officers during trainings and conferences. Other facilities include a cafeteria, day-care centre, fitness centre, conference hall and training centre. This eight-floor tower with adequate parking facilities shall further augment the capabilities of FSSAI and its National Food Laboratory.