Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has taken the batten to ascertain the quality of essential commodities such as milk. For this, the apex food regulator has requested expert agencies for proposals to conduct a nationwide survey for milk quality. This has been done to avoid any variation in the methodology and results.
The survey will focus on unsafe or adulterated milk. It is pertinent to mention that during the last survey, FSSAI was dependent on state government machinery and the results varied from state to state, and the methods adopted by the state machinery were also different from each other.
Pawan Kumar Agarwal, chief executive officer, FSSAI, said, “The previous survey was lacking in uniformity in surveying methodology. Also, we have to depend on the state machinery for surveying, and as a result, the outcome of the survey varies greatly.”
“We are now looking at doing it through third party, which will help in achieving a great degree of consistency in methods, and hence, the results will be more genuine. We are in the process of finalising the tenders and standards for surveying,” he added.
“We also want to focus on different commodities, once we have a system in place for third-party nationwide surveys as our experience in conducting such surveys utilising the state machinery is quite a mixed one,” Agarwal said.
As per FSSAI, the objective of the survey was to evaluate the current status of milk quality, disseminate information regarding testing protocols for detection of adulterants, create a network of stakeholders and enable target enforcement.
It foresaw that this survey will enable periodic monitoring of the milk quality across states and Union Territories (UTs) on a regular basis, while taking into consideration the possible impact of seasonal and demand-supply situation on the milk quality.