Telangana Food Inspectors Failed, Telangana People fall prey to food Poisoning
People in Telangana are more likely to fall prey to food poisoning while eating out than in most other states across the country. According to the annual public laboratory testing report 2015, released by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), Telangana stands at a lowly 22nd place among all the states in terms of the food samples it analyzed for adulteration.
FSSAI said in its report that till November 24 this year, food safety inspectors in Telangana state got only 312 samples tested in approved labs. Andhra Pradesh analyzed as many as 2,788 food samples during the same period. And this, when it is the same lab that is designated to test samples from both the states. “It is a clear case of neglect of food safety in Telangana. The food laboratory at Nacharam is the designated state lab functioning for both the states. While food safety inspectors of Telangana failed, their AP counterparts made effective use of the lab,” said Bakka Judson, a health activist.
What’s shocking is that Telangana fared worse than smaller states like Assam and Tripura. It is significant to note that the number of food samples that are found to be adulterated or unhygienic increased with the total number of samples tested. The more the samples, the higher the probability of finding cases of adulteration, misbranding and unsafe food.
While food inspectors in Andhra Pradesh came across 290 cases of unsafe samples among the 2,788 it analysed, Telangana authorities found only 32 cases of adulteration this year. However, the reason behind Telangana sending so few samples for testing is nothing but the lack of sufficient food safety officers.
“Right now, out of the 30 posts of food safety officers sanctioned in Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) limits, only three are working. In the districts, out of the 20 sanctioned posts, 14 are working. The remaining posts have remained unfilled since bifurcation,” said a senior officer in the department.
The officer also blamed the system of dual control over city-based food safety officers – one from the GHMC commissioner and the other from the commissioner of food safety.
No. of samples tested in Telangana: 312
No. of samples found unsafe: 32
No. of samples tested in AP in the same period: 2,788
Samples found unsafe in AP: 290
Authorities blame the lack of food safety officers for state of affairs; 27 out of 30 posts in city are vacant