The Second World Food Safety Day (June 7) —and the motto “food safety, everyone’s business” – promotes global awareness and action on this critical issue. With the provision of its diverse and diverse population and current level of economic development, India can reap significant social and economic benefits through continuous efforts to combat the problem of unsafe food.
Although evidence of the prevalence and burden of FBDs in low-income countries is limited, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that the global burden of FBDs is comparable to that of malaria, HIV / AIDS, or tuberculosis. Low- and middle-income countries account for 98% of the global FBD burden; Africa has the highest personal responsibility and Asia has the highest rates.
In India, dietary systems are rapidly changing in ways that offer new ways of FBDs. Consumption of animal-derived foods, which are high in nutrients but also high in risk of disease, is increasing. There is a culture of eating out, where street food vendors are increasing, but little in the way of food safety control.
Among its many challenges, the COVID-19 epidemic provides an excellent opportunity to strengthen India’s food safety systems. These two problems come together in several ways. COVID-19 comorbidities include non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as diabetes mellitus; there is a high level of public concern and policy regarding health and food safety; and the government’s epidemic package includes changes in agricultural policy and agricultural markets that could lead to increased expansion of food safety management.
A message from the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) to COVID-19 sums up the policy statement this way: “While the FSSAI mandate guarantees safe and healthy food in the country, the importance of food safety and hygiene has never been greater. before.
In the event of a crisis, FSSAI has the authority to authorize the importation of food items and food testing laboratories (including two National Food Labs organizations) which are considered essential services.
India has long lacked control (financial and institutional) in addressing food safety issues. But COVID-19, meanwhile, has radically changed consumer perceptions about food safety. Although the novel coronavirus is often transmitted by airborne droplets, and the risk of exposure to contaminated food is considered low, people in India (and around the world) are very concerned about the dangers of foodborne illness. This new information and the need for better food hygiene can put pressure on participants in pricing options to bring about food safety.
The crisis and mitigation measures that have led to a major impact on the Indian economy, many analysts predict that the economy will enter into a 5% contract by the 2021-22 financial year. In an effort to respond, the government has announced a $ 300 billion refund, including an agricultural package containing a combination of financial incentives and policy changes and, each offering possible ways to improve food safety.
1. Establish trade clusters and legalize small food businesses, with a view to overseeing global markets.
2. Provisions for direct marketing to farmers.
3. New marketing materials, including commercial development,
4. Investment in farm gate infrastructure and at the Farmers’ Association’s level.
In India, as in many low-income countries, health-hazardous food is sold in informal (traditional or liquid) markets. About 50 million such food enterprises, according to a recent study of Indian businesses, are also part of the food system most affected by COVID-19 – and where food safety management is more complex.
About 150 million people depend on these food businesses, namely more than 120 million farmers. Any legitimacy of food-based businesses will need to address how the sector will ensure food safety.
Regular trade rules, meanwhile, require enforcement of applied food safety standards, so promoting greater trade integration will require a stronger focus on health and safety. Note that food safety affects both high-end and low-income areas in domestic or foreign trade.
Unless there is a capacity to provide the safety standards demanded by the market, trading will not be possible at all. Manufacturers will prefer local markets if they find the legal food safety requirements are too heavy.
So food safety has an impact on trade and other things. In the post-COVID era, the public may be concerned that the food trade itself poses risks. Another focus will be on how much trade contributes to obesity and obesity, with the use of bad calories leading to NCDs.
India has a disproportionate share in obtaining the highest amount of food safety and the denial of quality food imports in both the United States and Europe markets. But there are solutions. The online site Grapenet, where all grape growers are registered, is updating market safety rules (such as high limits for various chemical residues) in real time, and has helped open up space for Indian grape sales.
This process can be repeated with other materials, such as pomegranates. Compliance with export standards can also have spillover benefits in the Indian domestic market. IFPRI research has shown that there have been significant discoveries of certified grapes globally in local markets in major cities and other Indian countries.
Moving forward in the recovery period, while a small group of small businesses and food will receive direct assistance, it is the informal sector that will continue to be the most important source of new food in India.
Still, challenges are important. World food safety day problems are huge and the provision of skills and resources to deal with them is scarce. The impact of the COVID-19 crisis has begun to focus on the authorities’ major issues of food safety and health.
This includes opportunities to better communicate with food safety risks and mitigation measures – public and private food companies – the role that FSSAI strives to play as part of its response to COVID-19.
With the recovery package, the biggest challenges will be to close the policy implementation gap and make food safety and hygiene practices a new standard from farm to fork. The COVID-19 response has the potential to transform India’s food safety culture among all stakeholders – including policy makers, the agricultural food sector, regulators and consumers. But such a change will only happen if there is a conscious need for better, safer food. Promoting such demand will depend, in part, on future research on World food safety day costs, performance appraisal, and risk communication.