FOOD SECURITY AND FOOD SAFETY
With the increasing incidences of food poisoning and food borne diseases every year, it has become necessary to ensure food safety in the nation, along with supplementary issue of food security.
The various challenges to food safety in the country include
- Unhygienic conditions of storage of food grains, which leads to their infestation with various harmful microorganisms, pests and rodents.
- Biological and environmental contamination of food chain, where the birds used in non vegetarian food, carry germs of a disease.
- Resistance of new types of bacteria against the traditionally used protection methods.
- Lack of awareness among people regarding usage of perishable edible material, within a minimum time period, after which they become unfit for consumption.
- Nowadays, street food is becoming more and more popular among urban population. But these vendors do not take proper care of hygiene while cooking and distributing the food items.
- The material to be exported is seen to be much better in quality then the material which is to be domestically used in the nation.
India loses a large amount of money due to improper post harvest practices. Ensuring safe food has become a top priority.
Several measures can be taken to counter such practices and ensure food safety:
- Although a concrete food policy exists, its implementation remains a problem. There should be proper measures to ascertain quality of food grains in storage, at regular intervals.
- At the individual level, people should maintain hygiene, cook thoroughly, and always wash the vegetables before use in a thorough fashion.
- India can learn from other countries, where the street vendors are also given recognition for their clean and tasty food. Should have mobile food courts to provide clean healthy food at all possible places.
- The food processing units must ensure that they adhere to the norms and standards set up by the regulating authority.
- Such measures can immensely help the nation in reducing the spread of food borne diseases and effectively enforce food safety.
As an endnote I would like to stress on this point that Food Security also means providing safe and nutritious food to the public.