Centre approves ₹ 10 crore to upgrade food lab in Rajasthan’s Jodhpur
The Centre has approved ₹ 10 crore to upgrade the food-testing laboratory in Jodhpur, and Rajasthan will soon get a state-of-the-art mobile lab, a state health department official saidjaipur Updated: Jan 11, 2018 20:32 IST
The Centre has approved ₹ 10 crore to upgrade the food-testing laboratory in Jodhpur, and Rajasthan will soon get a state-of-the-art mobile lab, a state health department official said.
The Centre will spend ₹480 crore for strengthening food-testing labs in the country, including the one at Jodhpur, said additional director (rural health) Dr Ravi Prakash Mathur who attended a national round table conference, organised by the Food Safety Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) in Delhi on January 8 and 9.
“The Jodhpur facility will be developed as a state-of-the-art laboratory and efforts will be made to get recognition from the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories,” Mathur said. “The Centre will provide Rajasthan a mobile food-testing lab costing ₹30 lakh; this will have state-of-the-art facilities.”
Union health minister JP Nadda addressed health ministers on Tuesday during the conference that was also attended by health secretaries of all states and union territories.
“The mobile laboratory will be used for surveillance and creating awareness among people about adulteration in edible items. The lab can be taken to a place where there is a complaint about food items, so that testing can be done on the spot,” Mathur said.
The state has six food labs at Jaipur, Ajmer, Udaipur, Jodhpur, Kota and Alwar, and five more will be opened at Jalore, Churu, Bikaner, Banswara and Bharatpur, he said. “The chief minister had announced the five new food labs in the 2015-16 budget.”
He said, “Civil works of the new labs are almost complete, and the process of procurement of equipment and recruitment of manpower is under way.”
In October last year, the facility of testing heavy metals and pesticides in fruits, vegetables and food products has been added to the central food lab in Jaipur.
Mathur said seven charters were announced at the conference. They include improving food standards, bringing food businesses under licensing and registration, popularising simple tests by consumers, reducing salt by 30% and sugar by 10% by 2022, participation in nutritious food campaigns, and training of regulatory and lab staff.
He said 47,492 samples were collected from August 5, 2011 to November 30, 2017, of which 23362 were in high-risk category and 5598 were substandard and unsafe.