Staff Correspondent

JORHAT, Feb 10: Jorhat is among 150 districts in the country to be selected by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) to participate in the ‘Eat Right Challenge’ competition, following which the district has swung into action to ensure that all food safety and hygiene norms of the regulatory body are fulfilled.

Addressing newspersons here on Tuesday, Jorhat Deputy Commissioner Roshni A Korati disclosed that the period of participation was from October 2020 to June 2021, but, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, certain activities have got affected.

Describing the activities taken up by the district administration to ensure adherence of FSSAI norms regarding safety and hygiene of food items, the Deputy Commissioner stated that samples of food have been collected from hotels, eateries and also the SHGs involved in preparing and selling food items and have been sent to food analysts, the State Public Health Laboratory, Guwahati, for testing.

“If SHGs meet the FSSAI safety and hygiene norms they can register their products like bamboo shoot, various pickles, jams and jellies with the FSSAI, which would give them more exposure and acceptability outside Assam,” Korati observed.

Posters and stickers listing the hygiene aspects and what comprised healthy food have been put up in strategic locations and pasted on public vehicles, Korati informed.

The Deputy Commissioner said the rural areas would also be covered through awareness and street plays.

Korati also said that children of 25 schools in the district will be enlisted to assist the campaign to maintain hygiene and safety norms in the food items sold to people. Tea gardens will also be covered for the challenge.

Hiten Kalita, Food Safety Officer, Jorhat, while informing about the activities undertaken by the health department, said that from October to December last year,  284 SHGs had registered with the FSSAI.

Kalita said that after testing the samples of  food items at hotels and SHGs, most of them were found to be substandard or unsafe, and different actions are being initiated as per relevant food safety laws.