State Food Safety Index

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Recently, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) published the State Food Safety Index.

About State Food Safety Index

  • The Index is an annual assessment released by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).
  • It was started from 2018-19 with the aim of creating a competitive and positive change in the food safety ecosystem in the country.
  • The index will help in providing safe and nutritious food to our citizens.
  • This index is based on the performance of the State/ UT on five significant parameters, namely,
    • Human Resources and Institutional Data, Compliance, Food Testing – Infrastructure and Surveillance, Training & Capacity Building and Consumer Empowerment.
    • In the 2023 index, a new parameter called ‘Improvement in SFSI Rank’ was added.
  • The Index is a dynamic quantitative and qualitative benchmarking model that provides an objective framework for evaluating food safety across all States/UTs.
  • The States/UTs are classified into 3 categories namely Large States, Small States and UTs for the evaluation and assessment.

Key findings of the report

  • After adjusting for a new parameter included in the 2023 index, 15 out of 20 states recorded lower 2023 scores compared to 2019.
  • The steepest fall in scores over five years was seen in Maharashtra, Bihar, Gujarat,
  • The worst drop has been recorded in the ‘Food Testing Infrastructure’ parameter.
  • States including Maharashtra, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh all recorded lower scores for this parameter.
  • Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand, meanwhile, recorded lower scores for the ‘Compliance’ parameter.
  • The ‘Human Resources and Institutional Data’ parameter, which was given the third highest weightage of 18 per cent in 2023 (20 per cent in previous years)
  • The only parameter which recorded significant improvement was ‘Training and Capacity Building’, which was given the least weightage of 8 per cent in 2023 (10 per cent in previous years). 

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

It is the regulatory body responsible for ensuring the safety and quality of food products in India. It was established under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006. The primary mission of FSSAI is to protect and promote public health by regulating and supervising the safety of food products in the country.

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