Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), Pawan Kumar Agarwal recently inaugurated the microbiology laboratory at the National Food Laboratory (NFL) in Kolkata. The laboratory will be upgraded with high end equipment and in keeping with a state-of-the-art modern microbiology laboratory.
While FSSAI recognises notified NABL accredited food testing laboratories in the following categories: Primary food testing laboratories; Referral food laboratories; and Reference food laboratories, it also has two food laboratories of its own- National Food Laboratory, Ghaziabad and National Food Laboratory, Kolkata.FSSAI is working towards having more food testing labs both in the public as well as private sector, besides providing mobile units for food testing.
Testing of food is an important aspect of food safety and instils confidence amongst consumers that food is safe to eat. Consumers have now begun to pay careful attention to quality and safety of food. FSSAI is working towards making India food safe zone and so food testing laboratories must be equipped to handle all kinds of food testing and analysis to meet the challenges of food safety.
The microbiology lab at the National Food Laboratory, Kolkata will be able to undertake a wide range of food testing and analysis of food with its newly upgraded equipment. It will be able to cover testing of pathogens and spoilage organisms in food, food ingredients and water.Microbiology testing determines the presence of pathogens such as Salmonella, Listeria monocytogenes, Escherichia coli O157, Camplylobacterjejuni). Microbiological testing of food products can analyse how the presence and breeding of micro-organisms and specific pathogens in foods and water like bacteria, yeast and moulds have a negative effect on food products and beverages.
Microbiological testing laboratories are also capable of detecting unknown microorganisms and classifying them to species level. Microbiological shelf life testing as well as determining the presence of microorganisms that need to be present in a particular food product is also the work carried out by microbiological food testing labs. Some microbes work to break down the food material into nutrients, whilst others can spoil food and can cause severe illness.Microbiology testing services help minimize the risk of potential damage by microbes and ensure the microbiology quality of food products is maintained.
The updated and well-equipped Microbiological laboratory at Kolkata can assure quality and safety of food products as it will be able to deliver accurate test results that are required for compliance with food regulations.