Agriculture World

FSSAI's 12-Point Action Plan Will Ensure Safety & Quality of Milk Products

Abha Toppo
Abha Toppo
milk products

The Food Safety & Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has come up with a new action plan that will ensure safety as well as quality of milk & milk products. The 12-point action plan comes following a survey, which revealed that 7 percent milk samples had contaminants or adulterants that rendered such milk unsafe.

The action plan that was announced on ‘National Milk Day’ (26th November), has been made after two surveys on milk & milk products. The actions are broadly in 3 areas that includes testing & continued surveillance; preventive & corrective action for implementation & monitoring and consumer engagement.

FSSAI had earlier released the national milk safety & quality survey report, which showed that only 7 percent milk samples had adulterants or contaminants that rendered such milk dangerous. FSSAI also conducted a survey on milk products where the results of 399 samples analyzed so far out of total 1048 shows quality & hygiene concerns in milk products.

FSSAI in a statement said that major quality concern observed is adulteration with vegetable or animal fats with no concern about presence of heavy metal contaminants. It added that microbiological concern found relates to poor hygiene while no bacterial pathogens have been found.

milk

Under the new action plan to ensure safety & quality of milk & dairy products in India, FSSAI has provided many rapid testing & high-end precision test equipment to States and UTs. All these equipments would be used for testing & continued surveillance and to upgrade testing infrastructure.

It further said, " FSSAI has also notified NABL accredited private & other public food laboratories for primary, regulatory & surveillance testing that can be used by the States or UTs to complement testing by the state laboratories".

Since aflatoxin-M1 and antibiotic residues have emerged as the main contaminant in milk, different preventive & corrective action are proposed for the stakeholders in milk sector including need for extensive capacity building at primary production levels to follow Good Dairy Farming Practices via focused training programs in animal husbandry, animal health & Feed and nutrition areas.

The milk survey revealed that processed milk too has quality & safety concerns which is a serious issue.

The authority said, "In this regard, FSSAI has made and released a harmonized Scheme of Testing & Inspection (STI) to be adopted by dairy processing plants for monitoring and self-compliance throughout their production chain so as to strengthen their internal controls".

It told, "FSSAI also emphasizes the dairy plants to start fortification of milk with Vitamins A & D, which are lost during processing. As milk is consumed by all, fortification of milk with specified micronutrients is a good strategy to tackle micronutrient malnutrition".

In addition, to build up the trust of customers in safety & quality of milk, consumer awareness & engagement programs would be organized throughout India.

milk vendor

Also to address the unorganized sector that has a major share and to address raw milk quality issue, FSSAI will launch a “Verified Milk Vendors Scheme” wherein milk vendors can voluntarily register through online registration website and will be provided photo-identity card & properly calibrated lactometer.

FSSAI said, "Training programs will be conducted on clean milk practices with periodic sampling & testing of their milk. The hotspot areas identified will help strict enforcement or surveillance activities. Food Safety Mitras will be given authority to facilitate registration of these vendors at a very nominal price. A dedicated website will be created to facilitate these actions".

Regional workshops will be conducted jointly by FSSAI, Animal Husbandry Department and Dairying (DAHD), NDRI, NDDB and food safety departments of the States/UTs to execute the action plan effectively.

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