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Not enough staff at food dept office

india Updated: Mar 28, 2012 01:34 IST
HT Correspondent

Even as the authorities have said they are committed to implement the Food Safety and Standards Act 2006 (FSSA) in the district, many applicants have complained about the shortage of staff at the office of the district food inspector.

FSSA makes it mandatory for all those related to food business to get registered with the district administration. But they are running from pillar to post to get licences.

Those dealing in food business that includes restaurants, food chains and even chemists with a turnover of R12 lakh have to get a licence for selling edible products under the Act, while those with less than Rs 12 lakh turnover have to register themselves with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

"I have visited the office of the food inspector three times but never found anybody there. They want our business to be registered, but they do not have enough staff to deal with the situation," said applicant Puneet Sharma (name changed).

"The department talks about organising camps to help us in filling the forms but there is hardly anybody in the office to help us," said another applicant.

Even the authorities admit that the department does not have adequate staff. "We don't have sufficient staff. We take the help of clerks of excise laboratories in processing the applications. The situation may improve in a few days. We want cooperation of residents for proper implementation of the Act," said CR Rana, commissioner, Food and Drug Administration.

The district has only one food inspector, who is responsible for collection of food samples and attending court cases.

Surinder Singh Punia, food inspector, Gurgaon, said, "We have to collect food samples and attend court cases. In such a scenario, we are doing our best to serve the residents in a better way."