State Food Safety Index 2021-22

To encourage States/UTs to improve their performance and work towards establishing a proper food safety ecosystem in their jurisdiction, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has released the State Food Safety Index (SFSI) annually for each financial year. The Index is a dynamic quantitative and qualitative benchmarking model that provides an objective framework for evaluating food safety across all States/UTs. 

                                                                                            Shri Arun Singhal, CEO, FSSAI

The Food Safety Index reflects the overall performance of the States/ UTs on various parameters of food safety. These food safety parameters are broadly classified under following 5 significant factors assigned with separate weightage of marks. 

  1. a) Human Resources and Institutional Data (with 20% weightage): The objective is to check availability of strong culture and ecosystem of enforcement commensurate with the size and population of the State/UT as well as participation of other departments and stakeholders in food safety activity at State and district levels. This parameter measures the availability of human resources like number of Food Safety Officers, Designated Officers, facility of adjudications and appellate tribunals, functioning of State/ District level Steering Committees, pendency of cases and their monitoring and participation in Central Advisory Committee meetings of the Food Authority. 
  2. b) Compliance (with 30% weightage):This is the most important parameter to measure overall coverage of food businesses in licensing & registration commensurate with size and population of the State/UTs, special drives and camps organized, yearly increase, promptness and effectiveness in issue of state licenses/ registrations. Also, this parameter considers the inspections carried out for high risk food businesses through FoSCoRIS (Food Safety Compliance with Regular Inspection and Sampling) and the number of samples drawn for testing. Promptness in attending to the consumer grievances and availability of help desk and web portals are also examined under this parameter. 
  3. c) Food Testing- Infrastructure and Surveillance (with 20% weightage): This parameter measures availability of adequate testing infrastructure with trained manpower in the States/ UTs for testing food samples. The States/ UTs with NABL accredited labs and adequate manpower in the labs score more in this parameter. The availability and effective utilization of Mobile Food Testing Labs and registration and utilization of InFoLNet (Indian Food Laboratories Network) are also examined under this parameter. 
  4. d) Training and Capacity Building (with 10% weightage): This parameter focuses on training and capacity building of regulatory staff (Dos and FSOs), number of trainings held under FoSTaC (Food Safety Training and Certification) and the availability of trained Food Safety Supervisors in food businesses across the State/UT. 
  5. e) Consumer Empowerment (with 20% weightage):This parameter measures the performance of States/ UTs in various consumer empowering initiatives of FSSAI like participation in Food Fortification, Eat Right Campus, BHOG (Blissful Hygienic Offering to God), Hygiene Rating of Restaurants, Clean Street Food Hubs, etc. Further, action taken for coverage of food fortification in open market, government safety net programmes and availability of fortified products in all districts are taken into consideration. State initiated activities for creating consumer awareness are also considered. 

Further, based on the fact that similar States should be compared to ensure comparability among similar entities for the generation of ranks of States/UTs under SFSI, the States/UTs are classified into 3 categories namely Large States, Small States and UTs for the evaluation and assessment. 

The assessment and evaluation of each category were done by separate teams comprising of outside experts for food testing and food & nutrition professionals in addition to FSSAI officials. The teams examine the details received from States/UTs and also interacts with States/UTs through video-conferencing for verification and confirmation of data.

The major findings of State Food Safety Index 2021-2022 are:

a) Ranking of States/UTs:

  1. Among the Large States, Tamil Nadu is the top-ranking state, followed by Gujarat and Maharashtra.
  2. Among the Small States, Goa is the top-ranking state followed by Manipur and Sikkim.
  3. Among UTs, Jammu & Kashmir is the top-ranking UT, followed by Delhi and Chandigarh.

b) States/UTs with significant improvement in ranking during last year:

  1. Uttarakhand in Large State Category
  2. Tripura in Small States Category
  3. Ladakh in the category of UTs.

In an effort to galvanize States/UTs to work towards ensuring safe food for citizens, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Dr Mansukh Mandaviya released Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI)’s 4th State Food Safety Index (SFSI) to measure the performance of States across five parameters of food safety. SFSI 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.

Dr. Mandaviya further added that the government is dedicated to ensure health security for every citizen in the country and for this it is focussing on primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare fronts with various initiatives like Health and Wellness Centres and strengthening of district hospitals under the National Health Mission. He praised the crucial role FSSAI plays in ensuring healthy and nutritious food to the citizens of our country. “It is important to note that states have an important role in ensuring food safety and healthy food practices. It is the need of the hour that we come together to ensure a healthy nation”, he further noted.

The Union Health Minister felicitated the winning State/UTs based on the ranking for the year 2021-22 for their impressive performance across parameters. This year, among the larger states, Tamil Nadu was the top ranking state, followed by Gujarat and Maharashtra. Among the smaller states, Goa stood first followed by Manipur and Sikkim. Among UTs, Jammu & Kashmir, Delhi and Chandigarh secured first, second and third ranks. Dr. Mandaviya also felicitated states which showed significant improvement in the State Food Safety Index.

To motivate Smart Cities to develop and execute a plan that supports a healthy, safe and sustainable food environment through adoption of various Eat Right India initiatives, the Health Minister also felicitated 11 winning smart cities of the EatSmart Cities Challenge, launched by FSSAI last year in association with the Smart Cities Mission under the aegis of Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA). He also felicitated winners of the Eat Right Research Challenge for Cities and Districts and Eat Right Research Awards and Grants.

Encouraging the participants and congratulating them on the occasion of World Food Safety Day, Shri Rajesh Bhushan, Union Health Secretary, said that to prevent burden from food borne diseases and to ensure food safety, a multifaceted and multi stakeholder approach involving industries, government machinery, regulators, etc. is required and awareness must be created at each level of the society. Shri Arun Singhal, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), FSSAI said that food testing paradigm in the country is being improved in mission mode and Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) have been signed with States/UTs, to carefully see the food safety implementation in their respective areas.

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