Indian Food Laboratory System

Indian Food Laboratory System

Indian Food Laboratory System

Indian food laboratory system

In order to ensure the safety of food being consumed by the people all over the country it becomes essential for the Food Safety and Standard Authority of India (FSSAI) to test and analyze the quality of food being served by the Food Business Operators. FSSAI recognizes National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) under section 43 of Food Safety and Standard Act 2006. To increase the speedy clearance food consignments at the ports FSSAI is now foreign laboratories as well.

Currently, there are total 261 food testing laboratories working in India Different types of laboratories that are being approved as notified laboratories are:

1. Primary food laboratories- These are the FSSAI recognized laboratories along with that they have the NABL validity accreditation, they are suppose to carry out the analysis of food samples taken under the Food Safety And Standard Act, 2006 and regulations made under that. The validity and recognition of these laboratories shall be governed by the guidelines or orders issued by FSSAI from time to time.

2. Referral food laboratories- Currently there are 19 referral food laboratories in India

3. National food laboratories- FSSAI has established National Reference laboratory (NRL) to set a country wide standard for following procedures, validation of such standard procedure / testing methods, new methods shall be developed and ensure proficiency in testing across the food laboratories with special reference to the risks or food categories. Only a primary food laboratory or a referral food laboratory can be considered to be declared as a NRL. At present there are 12 NRLs and 2 ANRLs

The Indian Food Laboratory Network (InFoLNet)

It is an IT based system for Lab Management by FSSAI, it does everything from the collection of sample by Food Security Officer till test report is generated by the Food Analyst it also links the main base Lab Management Module with the other micro modules like Food Licensing & Registration System (FLRS), Food Imports Clearance System (FICS), Risk, surveillance etc. All the food labs would be connected through INFOLNET or by LIMS (Laboratory Information Management System) available with the lab or Lab Management Module (if LIMS is not available with the lab). It provides an extensive online portal to food laboratories and different people who are involved in process of food testing and analysing. INFoLNET is an all in one resource for managing all activities of food testing using online platform.

Setting up a Basic Food Testing and Analysis Laboratory

The essential components of a laboratory are:

a) If required the for the analyses the building shall be constructed for Selection and identifying.

b) Development of an organizational structure is essential and responsibilities shall be assigned.

c) Selection of analyses to be performed d. Selection and purchase of equipment/chemicals

d) Appoint and maintain qualified analysts/technicians/skilled and unskilled staff for proper working.

e) Standard operational and working procedure shall be established.

f) A Quality Assurance system must be established based on ISO/IEC and obtain the NABL accreditation within 6 months of setting up of a basic Food Testing Laboratory

Food Safety on Wheels

In a country like India where there are plenty of street side food producers it is essential to mobilize testing labs so for that FSSAI has launched 'Food Safety on Wheels' (FSW), it is a mobile food testing lab for testing, spreading awareness and training people regarding food safety. This is a unique innovative, a van will take food testing infrastructure to remote villages and small areas, that would also increase confidence among citizens. There are 44 FSWs currently, the goal is to cross 500 in the coming years.