In a bid to increase the food hygiene and quality of the country, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India has decided to beef up its team of food safety supervisors. Working on this frame, FSSAI, recently has signed an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Indira Gandhi National Open University to offer Food Safety Training and Certification (FOSTAC) courses through IGNOU network. Under this MoU, IGNOU would become Training Partner for FSSAI’s capacity building activities.
Chief Executive Officer of FSSAI, Pawan Kumar Agarwal and Registrar of IGNOU, Jitendra Kumar Srivastava had signed the MoU in the presence of Chief Management Services Officer of FSSAI, Ms. Madhavi Das and Vice-Chancellor of IGNOU, Professor Arora.
This collaboration will offer multiple courses to the students including Street Food Vending, Catering, Manufacturing, Retail and Distribution, Storage and Transport. Pawan Kumar Agarwal expressed his pleasure for collaborating with IGNOU. He pointed that FSSAI is organising a wide range of activities to implement new Food Safety Regulations. However, implementation of these regulations is a gigantic task. Primarily, awareness must be created in order to create harmony between International Codex standards and all the stakeholders of the food chain, he explained.
Pawan Kumar pointed out the dearth of well-trained human resources in the country for implementing the Food Safety Regulations in the unorganised and organised sectors of the food industry. According to the norms of FSSAI, it is mandatory for all the FBOs (Food Business Operators) to have well-trained and certified FSS (Food Safety Supervisors) in their organisations. The mandatory rule is good, but it created a huge shortage of human resources, he highlighted.
Pawan concluded that the food industry needs automation of supply chain and organised retail growth through which higher growth in the industry could be achieved. Therefore, the FOSTAC courses need to be delivered through multiple channels.