Commissioner Food Safety, J&K, Dr. Abdul Kabir Dar today convened a meeting to take a detailed review of the implementation of Food Safety & Standards (FS&S) Act in Leh district to ensure availability of safe, hygienic and wholesome food to the public.The Commissioner also took a review of different activities carried out by the enforcement officers in the district. During the meeting, Dar was informed that with effect from April 2018 to August 2018, a total number of 37 samples of different categories of food items were lifted for analytical purposes and 27 samples were analyzed during the same period, of which 13 have been found not conforming with the provisions of the Act.While as during the same period seven prosecutions against the violators have been launched by the enforcement officers and an amount of Rs.36800 has been imposed as fine.He also took series of meetings with different associations viz Hoteliers Association, Leh, Restaurants Association, Leh and Merchants Association, Leh, who were also sensitized about the different provisions of FS&S Act.The Associations apprised the Commissioner about the problems they are facing and informed that food business operators face lot of difficulties for obtaining, renewing their licenses, and registrations. The Commissioner assured the Association members that he will take up the matter with FSSAI.
The Associations also requested the Commissioner to take up the rate fixation with the Rate Fixation departments and other allied departments so that the difficulties being faced by the food business operators is mitigated.They also informed that due to water shortage during the winter season, the sanitary conditions are getting affected. During the winters, due to the closure of the road, the Food Business Operators (FBOs) have to stock a huge quantity of food products and the food products with less shelf life get expired with the result the food business operators suffer huge losses.The Hotel Association informed the Commissioner that to counter the shortage of vegetables in the winters and to maintain the quality of the vegetable products, the Hoteliers are running their own kitchen gardens.The Restaurant Association was directed to ensure that no synthetic food colour is used in the preparation of foods, use of proper uniform during preparation/serving and also to maintain high standards of Hygiene and Sanitary practices in their premises.The members of the association were informed by the Commissioner that in coming days the department will implement the ‘Hygiene Rating and Responsible Place to Eat’ initiative of FSSAI in the State where under the eateries ranging from DhabaWallas to Hotels will be rated and the consumers will get a better choice to eat.Besides, inspection of various food business operators was also conducted by the enforcement officers of Leh and Assistant Commissioner Food Safety (HQ) under the overall supervision of Commissioner Food Safety.