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Health secretary asks states, UTs to take stern action against food adulteration

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: October 23, 2019  | 20:02 IST

New Delhi, Oct 23 (PTI) The Union health secretary on Wednesday urged all states and UTs to take stern action against food adulteration and step up surveillance during the festival season, saying contamination poses a grave threat to the health of people. At a meeting with principal secretaries of states and UTs via a video link, Preeti Sudan urged them to hold periodic campaigns to check adulteration of food products, according to an official statement. The health secretary also emphasized the need for regular inspection, as the problem of food adulteration spikes during the festival season because of an increased demand. "Counterfeit food items, being totally illegal, bypass all mandatory quality checks and pose a grave danger to the health of our citizens. It is absolutely imperative that the problem is dealt with effectively," Sudan said. In August, the Delhi High Court had directed the health secretary to hold a meeting of the Food Safety Departments of states and FSSAI and submit a report on how food adulteration can be curbed in an effective manner. This meeting was in compliance with that order. Speaking about the manpower needed for this, Sudan said states and UTs need to identify the number of designated officers and food safety officers, create and fill up such posts so that they can carry out inspections and food samples can be tested in laboratories. Sudan told the principal secretaries that deputy commissioners and district magistrates must be sensitised on the ills of adulterated food and they should take up a leadership role in the campaigns. The principal secretaries were asked to pass on directions to the food commissioners as the implementation of the Food Safety and Standard Act, 2006 primarily rests with the states and UTs, the statement said. PTI PLB PLB ABH ABH

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