Third State Food Safety Index released! Food safety is critical and an important aspect for society. Food safety refers to healthy and hygienic handling of food at all levels of the chain so that illness from contaminated food can be prevented. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), 10% of the population across the world falls ill due to consumption of contaminated food, while each year, 4.2 lakh people die by consuming contaminated food, and of these, 1.25 lakh are children aged below 5 years. Accordingly, to encourage states to improve food safety in their jurisdiction, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) releases State Food Safety Index or SFSI. Now, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya released the third SFSI. The ranking was carried out by dividing the states and UTs in three categories – large states comprising 20 states, small states comprising the remaining eight states, and UTs comprising all of the eight Union Territories of India.
As per the ranking of the 20 large states, Gujarat was the best state in the country in terms of food safety with 72 points out of 100, highest across all the categories. Southern states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu bagged the second and the third places respectively for ensuring food safety in the regions. Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Karnataka and Telangana formed the rest of the top-10 states in this category of states. Among the large states, Bihar ranked last at 20th position, while Andhra Pradesh was placed 19th and Rajasthan was 18th.
Meanwhile, in the small states, Goa topped the list, followed by Meghalaya and Manipur. Among the eight small states, Mizoram ranked last.
As far as the eight UTs are concerned, Jammu and Kashmir was ranked as the UT with highest food safety, while Andaman and Nicobar Islands were ranked second and national capital of Delhi was ranked third. Lakshadweep was ranked as the UT with the lowest standards of food safety, securing only 18 points out of 100, the lowest among all categories.
The states and UTs were ranked on the basis of five parameters – Human Resources and Institutional Data having 20% of the weightage, Compliance with 30% weightage, Food Testing – Infrastructure and Surveillance being given 20% weightage, Training and Capacity Building having 10% weightage and Consumer Empowerment being given 20% weightage.