State Food Safety Index (SFSI) 2023: Nearly all Major States Slip on Food Safety Compared to 2019 in FSSAI Index

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State Food Safety Index (SFSI) 2023: Nearly all Major States Slip on Food Safety Compared to 2019 in FSSAI Index Blog Image

What’s in Today’s Article?

  • Why in News?
  • What is the State Food Safety Index (SFSI)?
  • Parameters of the SFSI
  • Highlights of the SFSI 2023
  • The SFSI 2023 - Comparing with the 1ST SFSI

Why in News?

  • Four years after the FSSAI published a state-wise index - State Food Safety Index (SFSI), to spur food safety improvement, 19 out of 20 large states recorded a drop in their 2023 scores from 2019.
  • After adjusting for a new parameter included in the 2023 index, 15 out of 20 states recorded lower 2023 scores compared to 2019. 

What is the State Food Safety Index (SFSI)?

  • The mandate of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is to ensure public health at large. Ensuring food safety is the task of each state’s apex food safety authority.
  • To encourage States/UTs to improve and work towards food safety in their jurisdiction, the FSSAI releases the SFSI annually for each financial year on 7th June on the occasion of World Food Safety Day.
  • The Index is a dynamic quantitative and qualitative benchmarking model that provides an objective framework for evaluating food safety across all States/UTs.
  • The 1st SFSI was released on 7th June, 2019 based on the information submitted by States/UTs.

Parameters of the SFSI

  • SFSI scores, which have been assigned annually to states since 2019, are given out of a total of 100 points that are calculated on the basis of five parameters with different weightages.
    • These parameters are ‘Human Resources and Institutional Data’, ‘Compliance’, ‘Food Testing Infrastructure’, ‘Training and Capacity Building’, and ‘Consumer Empowerment’.
  • In the 2023 index, a new parameter called ‘Improvement in SFSI Rank’ was added, which assesses improvement in each state’s rank from the year before.

Highlights of the SFSI 2023

  • The steepest fall in scores over five years was seen in Maharashtra, which scored 45 out of 100 in 2023 compared to 74 out of 100 in 2019.
  • This is followed by Bihar, which scored 20.5 in 2023 compared to 46 in 2019, and Gujarat, which scored 48.5 in 2023 compared to 73 in 2019.

The SFSI 2023 - Comparing with the 1ST SFSI

  • ‘Food Testing Infrastructure’ parameter:
    • This parameter measures availability of adequate testing infrastructure with trained personnel in each state for testing food samples.
    • The worst drop has been observed in this parameter, which was given the 4th highest weightage of 17% in 2023 (20% in previous years).
    • Maharashtra’s score for this parameter dropped to 4 points out of 17 in 2023 from 17 points out of 20 in 2019.
    • Both Gujarat and Kerala were the best performers in 2023 with 13.5 points out of 17 while Andhra Pradesh performed the worst.
  • The ‘Compliance’ parameter:
    • This has been given the highest weightage of 28% in 2023 (30% in previous years), measures licensing and registration of food businesses, inspections conducted, special drives and camps organised, etc.
    • In 2023, Jharkhand received 4 points out of 28, the lowest score for compliance, whereas Punjab and Himachal Pradesh received 18 points each, the highest score.
  • The ‘Consumer Empowerment’ parameter:
    • This has been given the second highest weightage of 19% in 2023 (20% in previous years).
    • It measures a state’s performance in various consumer empowering initiatives of FSSAI including participation in Food Fortification, Eat Right Campus, BHOG (Blissful Hygienic Offering to God), etc.
    • Bihar’s score in this parameter dropped to 1 point out of 19 in 2023 from 7 points out of 20 in 2019.
    • The top performer for this parameter in 2023 was Tamil Nadu with 17 points out of 19, followed by Kerala and Madhya Pradesh with 16 points each.
  • The ‘Human Resources and Institutional Data’ parameter:
    • This has been given the third highest weightage of 18% in 2023 (20% in previous years).
    • It measures availability of human resources including number of Food Safety Officers, Designated Officers, and facility of adjudications and appellate tribunals in each state.
    • Top performers in 2019 like Tamil Nadu and UP, with each receiving 17 points out of 20, got merely 10.5 and 9.5 points respectively in 2023.
  • The ‘Training and Capacity Building’ parameter: This is the only parameter which recorded significant improvement, which was given the least weightage of 8% in 2023 (10% in previous years).
  • The ‘Improvement in SFSI Rank’ parameter: It carried a weightage of 10% in 2023, 14 out of 20 large states received 0 points.

Q1) What is the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI)?

FSSAI has been established under Food Safety and Standards Act 2006 for laying down science-based standards for articles of food and to regulate their manufacture, storage, distribution, sale and import to ensure availability of safe and wholesome food for human consumption.

Q2) What is BHOG (Blissful Hygienic Offering to God) initiative?

BHOG is an initiative put forth by FSSAI to encourage Places of Worship (PoW) to adopt and maintain Food Safety and hygiene as well as convey food safety messages through such places to the people to follow as responsible citizens.


Source: In FSSAI index, nearly all major states slip on food safety compared to 2019