The United Nation’s FAO & WHO are supporting worldwide efforts to promote safe food. In his message on the second World Food Safety Day, Dilip Rath, Chairman, National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) said that this year’s theme - “Food Safety, Everyone’s Business” aptly reflects the associated emotions and responsibilities. We all expect our food to be safe and suitable for consumption. Lack of food safety assurance can adversely affect consumer confidence.
Presently, the world is facing one of its biggest challenges in the form of Corona Virus (COVID 19) pandemic and many countries have been severely affected, including India. It has also impacted the entire food industry including dairy sector. Though food is not a known vector for transmission of COVID-19, efforts are needed to prevent the spread of the virus.
Food offered to the consumer should be safe in respect of any indirect health risk apart from those arising from the conventional microbial, chemical, physical, and allergen related food safety hazards. It is a matter of pride that our dairy sector was amongst firsts in the food sector to adopt the food safety management systems like HACCP. The Dairy sector has also been very proficiently addressing the indirect health risks arising out of the pandemic.
Rath said that when the entire nation was under lockdown due to COVID 19, the Dairy Board did not cease to work. NDDB supported implementation of strict protective measures & safety protocols across the dairy value chain, which minimised exposure and transmission of the viral disease.
Packed milk & milk products marketed by our HACCP compliant dairy cooperatives are always safe for consumers compared to loose milk & milk products. To reinforce the trust of consumers in quality and safety of milk & milk products, dairy cooperatives had adopted NDDB’s Quality Mark and implemented all the processes in hygienic and safe handling of milk from its point of collection to the processing plant, retail outlets and ultimately to the consumers.
Ensuring milk safety and quality is a major challenge in a small holder production system in a tropical country like ours in which managing an effective cold chain is of paramount importance. A major awareness campaign was launched by NDDB to retain faith of all stakeholders.
A set of guidelines to be followed by the milk producers, villages milk collection centres/BMCs/chilling centres, dairy processing units, cattle feed plants, depots/distributers/retailers and consumers for ensuring safety and hygiene was shared with all.