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Nitte University Center for Science Education and Research (NUCSER) celebrated World Food Day by organizing daylong workshop on Food Safety: Issues and Concerns, at The University Auditorium, Paneer Campus, Deralakatte.
Dr Ramananda Shetty, vice chancellor, Nitte University inaugurated the Workshop. He highlighted that though India is only second to China in food production, there are problems in agriculture and food production sector due to reducing contribution to national GDP. While service sector is gaining importance, we need to focus on making agriculture attractive and food safety is of primary importance because consumers need to have confidence in the products in the market. Professor Ramananda Shetty pointed out that Nitte University is covering more and more academic areas to make knowledge broad based and to train young people to be well prepared to meet challenges of the changing world.
Dr Indrani Karunasagar, director (research and development), NUCSER welcomed the guests and spoke about the programme as an industry outreach programme to create awareness about Food Safety and Standards Act and Regulations in both industry as well as consumers and young students.
Dr Iddya Karunasagar, senior director, International Relations, Nitte University explained about the importance of World Food Day and the relevance for India, which has nearly 200 million people without proper access to food. He mentioned that the theme of this year’s World Food Day is ‘Change the future of migration – invest in food security and rural development.’ If we need to change the future of migration, we need to make food accessible to all sections of the population and food safety cannot be compromised.
Two hundred participants representing food business operators and students from different institutions in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts attended the workshop.
The session started with presentation by Dr Indrani Karunasagar on Food Safety and public health – a shared responsibility, which highlighted the need to involve all stakeholders from farm to fork to ensure food safety. She pointed out that food safety can be ensured with simple steps like washing hands, keeping raw and cooked food separately, cooking well and storing appropriately, using safe water and raw materials.
Dr Iddya Karunasagar explained about food safety standard setting process at international level by Codex Alimentarius Commission and the setting up of Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) under the Food Safety and Standards Act 2006. He explained about various Food Safety and Standards Regulations (FSSR) and the process of setting up standards by FSSAI.
Dr Naveen Kulal, food safety officer explained about implementation of FSSR in Dakshina Kannada district.
Kalbavi Prakash Rao explained about implementation of food safety certification system in the cashew industry. Srinivas, food safety team leader, CAMPCO informed about implementation of FSSR in the chocolate industry and challenges faced by the industry. Anand, Mangalore Biotech Laboratory provided information about the requirements that food safety testing laboratories need to meet to comply with ISO 17025 standards and obtain accreditation by the National Accreditation Board for Laboratories (NABL). Hemath Kumar from Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF) explained about implementation of food safety measures in milk industry and provided examples of following Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) based food safety management in milk processing. Dr Rajesh Matche, senior scientist, Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI), Mysore spoke about importance of packaging in food industry and explained about food safety issues that can arise through different packaging materials.