Saturday, October 6, 2012

Food safety officers of civic bodies to be shifted to Food and Drugs Administration

NASHIK: Eight food safety officers (FSOs) in civic bodies in the Nashik division are to be merged with the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) soon. The FDA has sent a proposal to the state to merge eight FSOs from four municipal corporations in the Nashik division with the FDA.Earlier, the food and adulteration Act was in force in Maharashtra. The municipal corporations had to implement the law in their jurisdictions, while it was implemented by the FDA beyond municipal limits. The registration and licences were also given by the municipal corporations in their jurisdictions. But after the amendment in food and adulteration Act, the state introduced the new act— the food safety and standard Act, 2006.

Accordingly, the accountability of implementing the law in the jurisdictions of municipal corporations and municipal councils was entrusted with the FDA. As per the new act, the posts of food inspectors were converted to FSOs. Presently, there are still eight FSOs with municipal corporations in the Nashik division, but they are working for the FDA.

Speaking to TOI, a senior FDA official said, "There are eight FSOs with four municipal corporations and a municipal council in the Nashik revenue division, but they are working for the FDA. We have sent the proposal to the state for their merger with the FDA. Out of the eight FSOs, two are from NMC, two from Malegaon Municipal Corporation (MMC), one from Manmad Municipal Council, two from Ahmednagar Municipal Corporation (AMC) and one from Jalgaon Municipal Corporation (JMC)."

He added, "These eight FSOs will be merged with the FDA once we get the state's approval. Nashik divisional office of FDA, includes five districts Nashik, Ahmednagar, Jalgaon, Dhule and Nandurbar. We have around 35 FSOs in Nashik division, including 15 in Nashik district, five in Jalgaon, eight in Ahmednagar district and seven jointly for Dhule and Nadnurbar districts. We are functioning as per the food safety and standard Act, which came into effect from 2011. Different assignments have been given to them and each FSO has been given some specific target of collecting samples and conducting inspections."

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