SRINAGAR: The Commissioner Food Safety, Dr Abdul Kabir Dar today chaired a meeting of Nodal Officer, City In-charges and officers of other allied departments to review the arrangements for the launch of Swasth Bharat Yatra – 2018.
The Yatra is an inclusive part of larger Nation-Wide Campaign called “Swasth Bharat Abhyaan” i.e. Healthy India Campaign which includes inculcating the longterm and fruitful lifestyle with healthy eating, physical activities, good personal hygiene, weight management, stress management, avoiding tobacco, drugs, and the harmful use of alcohol. It comprises of a series of public health initiatives towards implementing preventive and promotive health with the objective to promote Eat Healthy to prevent Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs), Eat Safe to prevent foodborne illnesses, Eat Fortified to prevent micronutrient deficiencies and No Food Waste to improve food security.
The Commissioner said that, given the fact that 60% of all deaths in India are because of NCDs, which can be prevented by the reduction in high fat, salt and sugar in foods, elimination of trans-fat, making people aware of healthier food options. He said healthy lifestyle is associated with health awareness, Work safety, Living in safe environments, Good nutrition, Adequate sleeping patterns, Physical fitness and regular exercise, Absence of addiction, Good Personal hygiene and Positive social communication.
Addressing to the functionaries’ present, Commissioner said that, Food Safety is an important issue being implemented by Food Safety and Standards Authority of India at the National Level and Commissioner, Food Safety, J&K at the State level. The most essential part of food safety is to generate awareness among all the stakeholders including Food Business Operators (FBO’s), other Stakeholders, Behavioral change and other IEC activities.
Regarding the commencement of Yatra, the Commissioner said that as per the programme, the Yatra will commence with Prabhat Pheri, a rally to create awareness of food standards and public health. Subsequently, a cyclothon will start from Rinchen Sports Stadium, Skalzengling Market and proceed onwards to Sonamarg. The said Yatra will start from Main Market Leh Gate at 10.00 AM on 16 October 2018 and will pass through various locations in Jammu & Kashmir covering 12 districts viz Leh, Ganderbal, Baramulla, Kupwara, Srinagar, Pulwama, Anantnag, Ramban, Udhampur, Jammu, Samba and Kathua.
During the Yatra, the services of Food Safety on Wheels (Mobile Food Testing Vans) along with 25 cyclists shall be utilized besides organizing two Swastha Melas at Srinagar and Jammu on 11 November 2018 and 27 January 2019 respectively. The Commissioner said, that Nodal Officer and City Incharges for smooth conduct of the Yatra have already been nominated and have been asked to coordinate with the concerned District Administration, Police Authorities, Health, Transport and Education Departments to make the said Yatra a grand success. The Commissioner directed all the city in-charges to identify activation points and venues for the said Yatra. The Commissioner also directed the City Incharges to do the mapping of educational institutions, hospitals and police stations on the Yatra route and conduct early sensitization of the mapped institutions/departments through all possible media.
He further said that, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India is launching “Clean and safe meat” initiative as part of the said Swasth Yatra with the objective to develop an ecosystem that will enable the availability of clean and safe meat and meat products to consumers. Commissioner said, since the majority of consumers state are eating fish, mutton, goat and poultry, the challenge for this nutritional transition to animal protein-based diets is linked with the use of antimicrobials in the feed and compromised hygiene practices at slaughterhouses and retail markets. He directed the Enforcement Officers to make use of the Yatra to spread awareness related to Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and Good Hygienic Practices (GHP) in slaughter and meat processing units, training of meat handlers, eligibility of food business operators handling meat and meat products for obtaining FSSAI license, role of animal feed in quality of meat.
The meeting was attended by Deputy Commissioner, Food Safety, Kashmir, Colonel S. K. Bijnaria, Nodal Officer, City In-charges and representatives from National Health Mission, J&K and Youth Services and Sports.