Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Wednesday flagged off a Mobile Food Testing Laboratory to check adulterated food and beverage samples in the state.The lab, funded by the central government, is aligned to the guidelines set by the ‘Food Safety and Standards Authority of India’ (FSSAI) and will be used to conduct tests of milk, water, edible oils and other items of food for daily consumption. The ‘Food safety on wheels’ van is also equipped to detect fats, solids not fat, adulterants such as starch, sucrose, urea, maltodextrin, in milk, pH, total dissolved solids, conductivity etc. in water, besides detection of synthetic colours such as metanil yellow in turmeric powder, along with many other spot tests to check adulteration in other food items.FDA officials at the flag-off ceremony, which was also attended by Health & Family Welfare Minister Brahm Mohindra, informed the Chief Minister that the van also had the facility to draw on-the-spot samples and generate instant reports.The Chief Minister appreciated the initiative of the Food and Drug Administration and expressed the hope that this van would also create further awareness among the people regarding food safety.
Mohindra said that as food tests laboratories were not available everywhere, FDA had decided to set up mobile food tests labs to encourage healthy and safe food practices. The van, he said, was fully equipped with analytical instruments, such as milk analyzer, hot air oven, hot plate, mixer-grinder, digital weighing scale, digital multi parameter hand-held meter and digital refractometer.Mohindra said that the van would help the state FDA to enhance its outreach programmes and conduct surveillance activities even in remote areas. He further said that more such vans would be launched in the near future.During the event, the Chief Minister also launched an Android Mobile app Food Safety Punjab, which is free of cost and downloadable from Google Play Store. This application provides guidelines to citizens for detection of adulteration with rapid test of various consumable items and also provides information about safe and nutritious food. With this initiative, the beneficiary can online apply for registration/licensing.Besides Media Advisor to CM, Raveen Thukral, Principal Secretary Health Anjali Bhawra, Commissioner-Food and Drug Administration Varun Roojam and Nodal Officer (Food) Dr. Amritpal Warring, along with other senior officers of Health & Family Welfare, Department were also present.