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FSSAI launches online platform for food inspection, sampling

o bring in transparency in food safety inspection and sampling, food regulator FSSAI put in place a nationwide online platform and asked states to adopt this system as it would help eliminate discrepancy and make food safety officers accountable. The web-based 'FoSCoRIS' system will help verify compliance of food safety and hygiene standards by food businesses as per the government norms. The new system will bring together all key stakeholders -- food businesses, food safety officers (FSOs), designated officers, state food safety commissioners -- on a nation-wide IT platform and data related to inspection, sampling and test result data will be shared seamlessly by all the officials.

"This system will give a clear picture to the FSSAI on the real-time basis and helps eliminate any discrepancy, hence inspection is accountable," the regulator said in a letter written to states. The system will ease out the process of sample collection, make it transparent and traceable and controls the quality of compliances, it said. Directing the states to adopt the new system, the FSSAI said this requires a hand-held device with internet connectivity with FSOs.

It has asked those states that have already provided hand-held devices to FSOs to straightway adopt the system while other states have been asked to provide such devices to FSOs or on rental and even reimburse mobile expenses to them. The states have been told to appoint a nodal officer for this purpose and send the details of the officers of the state food authority for integrating them with FoSCoRIS. In the initial phase, the FSSAI said, it has decided to bear the cost of rental plans for first three months to a maximum of Rs 500 per month per connection to first ten states and UTs. "This would replace the current system of ad hoc and subjective inspections and sampling that are currently carried out by the regulatory staff," it noted.

Source: Business Standard

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