Kohima: Nagaland Food Safety Commissioner Y Kikheto Sema has emphasized the need to have at least five basic food laboratories in the state to test and regulate the influx of substandard food products arriving to the state, particularly from Myanmar.
Attending the 40th National Meeting of Central Advisory Committee FSSAI at FDA Bhawan, New Delhi on Thursday, Food Safety Commissioner Y Kikheto Sema highlighted that the state has only one State Public Health Laboratory (SPHL), which was established in 1983 at Kohima.
Since then, the SPHL remains as the only food testing laboratory in the state notified by FSSAI under sub- section 43 of the FSS Act, 2006 for food certification and accredited by NABL in chemical testing as per global standard ISO/IEC 17025:2017.
He informed officials at the meeting that the state faces topographical challenges along with poor road connectivity in the far-flung areas, which hampers the movement of samples from one end to the other, resulting in delays in taking appropriate legal action.
As the state shares an extensive international boundary with Myanmar, he said that huge amounts of adulterated, misbranded, and sub-standard food items are being brought to Nagaland. This, he said, needs to be tackled urgently.
While acknowledging the constant support and guidance of the FSSAI, Ministry of H&FW, the official urged the ministry to consider setting up five basic food laboratory to cater to the need of the whole state for effective implementation of the Food Safety Act.
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He also requested the ministry to consider five Modified Food Safety on Wheels (MFSW), that is food testing mobile vans, as the three existing MFSWs cannot effectively cater to the needs of the state.
The State Food Safety Commissioner was accompanied by the State Programme Officer, Food Safety, Dr John Kemp.
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