FSSAI has trained about lakh food safety supervisors who have also received their certificates under the Food Safety Training and Certification (FoSTaC) program. The completion of training of certified food safety supervisors is being seen as an important milestone. The supervisors were trained through 3,500 training sessions conducted in the past 20 months when the program began in July 2017. So far, under the FoSTaC program, 80,000 people have been trained in the organized sector and almost 18,000 people in the unorganized sector, including street food vendors and self-help groups.
The FoSTaC program is an FSSAI initiated training and capacity building program that is aimed at promoting food safety and hygiene in the country. By Initiating the FoSTaC program the FSSAI aims at building capacities of food handlers across the value chain including micro, small, medium and large-scale enterprises in the food sector. FoSTaC program has created a ripple effect with its pan India training network that comprises of 169 training partners and over 1,500 empanelled Master Trainers. The Master Trainers conduct training across three levels of courses (basic, advanced and special) in a cascading model with 17 courses across all the levels.
The FoSTaC training program stipulates that Food Business Operators are required to have at least one trained and certified Food Safety Supervisor for every 25 food handlers or part thereof in each of their premises. The FoSTaC program is conducted through an online portal (www.fostac.fssai.gov.in/) that manages all kinds of training, end-to-end. The effective delivery of the entire course module is managed by trained subject matter experts in association with Training Partners empanelled with FSSAI.
FoSTaC endorses that through shared responsibility food businesses can promote a culture of food safety self-compliance. They can become more diligent towards food safety and hygiene in their premises through effective training and capacity building of their own staff. The success of this initiative lies in the power of partnership between stakeholders across the value chain and convergence towards enabling rather than policing since licensing and enforcement alone does not ensure food is safe for consumption. The FoSTaC ecosystem can pave the way for creating a sustainable model which can be replicated by other similar geographies across the globe.
FSSAI CEO, Pawan Agarwal has congratulated the FoSTaC team across the country on this achievement. He stated that food safety training and certification courses would definitely raise the bar for food safety and build a culture of self-compliance for food safety in food businesses in the entire country. FoSTaC is now all set for second round of training and all food businesses must take advantage of this initiative and get their staff trained and certified under this program.