FSSAI unveils action plan on anti-microbial resistance

Awareness on using antibiotics in livestock, aquaculture, and poultry

Representative image. Photo Wiki Commons

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India’s (FSSAI) central advisory committee (CAC) unveiled an action plan on anti-microbial resistance during its 43rd CAC meeting in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu recently.

During the meeting, deliberations were held on creating awareness among farmers regarding the judicious use of antibiotics in livestock, aquaculture, poultry, etc., as part of FSSAI’s responsibilities under the AMR National Action Plan-II. Plans to carry out surveillance on anti-microbial susceptibility in the food matrix to ensure consumers’ safety were also discussed.

Commissioners of food safety of states and union territories were directed to work diligently towards achieving the target of 100 food streets to be developed as ‘healthy and hygienic food streets’.

The importance of surveillance sampling was also emphasized during the discussion. The states were directed to prepare their surveillance plans and conduct regular meetings with state labs and their officials.

The requirement of clean marketplaces and establishing health clubs in both state and central government schools along with the development of app-based models and literature in regional languages to encourage the younger generation was discussed.

States were encouraged to make efforts to create awareness about the importance and benefits of fortified rice. Regular sampling of the fortified rice kernel and its strict compliance per the FSS (Fortification of Foods) Regulation, 2018 was also stressed.

A guidance document for training food handlers in canteens of universities, colleges, and hostels was also unveiled during the meeting to strengthen the food safety infrastructure. This initiative aims to train about 11 lakh food handlers working in the canteens of universities, colleges, and hostels in the next two years.

Uma Shankar Dhyani, executive director (HR & Finance), FSSAI, and Inoshi Sharma, executive director (compliance strategy), FSSAI were present at the meeting, which also saw the participation of more than 50 officials, including commissioners of food safety (CFS), representatives from states  other officials from FSSAI and nodal ministries and members representing the food industry, consumers, agriculture, laboratories and research bodies.


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