‘Food testing labs to be upgraded in next two-three years’

New Delhi, Oct 14 (IANS) The government will be spending Rs 490 crore in the next two-three years on upgrading and setting up new food testing laboratories (FTLs) across the country, an official said on Friday.

Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) CEO Pawan Kumar Agarwal said 45 FTLs would be strengthened across the country while special attention in this regard will be given to four northeastern states of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram and Sikkim.

“The government has recently approved Rs 490 crore for upgrading and strengthening FTLs across the country. The idea is to upgrade at least two FTLs in larges states and one in smaller states and union territories,” he said.

There are 114 FTLs operating in the country of which 112 are NABL accredited private labs notified under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006.

“Besides setting at least three new FTLs, there is proposal to set up 62 mobile foot testing labs (MFLs). There will be at least one MFL in each of the states and union territories,” said Agarwal adding that at least 8-10 private labs were under consideration for notification under the FSS Act.

The FTLs have been facing challenges in terms of availability of sophisticated analytical equipments and trained scientific and technical manpower, he said. “The target is to standardise the FTL network in the next two-three years,” he said.

–IANS

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