The FSSAI is to launch the CLEAN AND SAFE MEAT Initiative which is aimed at making available safe and quality meat to consumers for which they will work to develop an ecosystem where consumers will have access to meat which is safe and clean. Since there has been a growth in population as well as an increase in income, the demand for animal proteins and foods is on the rise, not only in India but globally as well. Indian consumers have a preference for fish, buffalo meat, mutton, goat meat, pig meat, and poultry.
This nutritional transitioning in the diet is somewhat of a food safety challenge as the animal protein diet is linked with the
- use of antimicrobials in the feed
- lack of hygiene practices at slaughter houses and retail markets
The lack of proper food safety lowers the trust of consumers about the quality and safety of meat (clean and safe meat) and meat products available to them.
In order to bring back the trust quotient among consumers for meat products, the FSSAI recently organized a meeting of important stakeholders in Delhi, to discuss all aspects that affect the quality and safety of meat and meat products either directly or indirectly. The meeting saw representation from the Ministry of food processing industry (MOFPI), Department of Animal husbandry, dairying and fisheries (DADF), Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), poultry meat industry (Godrej Tyson Foods Ltd. and Venkys Pvt Ltd.), animal meat industry (AOV Agro Foods Pvt Ltd. and Allana Sons Ltd.), meat retail sectors (Grofers and Licious) and animal feed companies (Godrej Agrovet Ltd. and Suguna Poultry Farm Ltd.
The issues that were discussed and highlighted during this meeting related to
- Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and Good Hygienic Practices (GHP) in slaughter houses and meat processing units
- Training of meat handlers
- Eligibility criteria for obtaining FSSAI license by food business operators that handle meat and meat products
- Role of animal feed in quality of meat and various existing
- Upcoming schemes government schemes for up-gradation of meat
- problems of the meat industry especially in the unorganized sector
Numerous action points emerged from the discussion and CEO FSSAI emphasized the main action points for key stakeholders which are as mentioned below
- Food Safety audit of meat units/ municipal slaughter houses will be conducted in coming 3months in 40 cities by third-party auditing agencies.
- A mandatory food safety audit of the supply chain for e-commerce retail entities involved in the retail of meat or meat products will also be conducted.
- Training and capacity building of FBOs involved in this sector will be initiated by FSSAI under FoSTaC Programme and the training will be started in the month of September 2018, with a target of completing at least 50 training by the end of December 2018.
- FSSAI in coordination with BIS will explore the possibility of including the BIS certification of feed – as one of the clauses in Schedule 4 covering GHP and GMP requirements.
- FSSAI also proposed that BIS in collaboration with the feed manufacturing associations and other stakeholders will review and amend their feed standards for livestock and poultry if required.
- A steering group for “Clean & Safe Meat” will be formed that will have an overall responsibility for carrying out the activities in this campaign, including the preparation of guidance note for consumers on fish/meat and feed.
- FSSAI will plan a study on the overall ecosystem in sectors of meat, fish, poultry and feed to identify the gaps/foods safety concerns and the ways to address them
- FSSAI in coordination with BIS will be exploring the possibility including the BIScertification of feed as a part of Schedule 4 requirements.
- Coordinate with State and central government to upgrade their financial schemes in line with GMP and GHP requirements of Schedule 4 given under FSSA, 2006, in the meat sector, especially for small businesses for improving their hygiene practices
This Campaign will be a part of the Lauh Yatra movement, to clean the slaughter houses and meat markets. The stakeholders will be participating in Lauh Yatra covering 2000 locations in 40 cities across the country. In this way, they will complete the entire loop that will begin at covering the quality of feed that is fed to animals to be slaughtered and will go on to the phase where the meat products are consumed by direct supply or through online retail platforms. CEO, FSSAI also shared the importance of this meeting and highlighted the responsibility shared by each of the stakeholders in achieving the overall objective of ensuring clean and safe meat to consumers across the country.