Early Times Report
Srinagar, Mar 17: The lack of coordination between the Food Safety Department and the Additional Deputy Commissioners is affecting to put curb on sub-standard food items in the state.
There are rampant complaints about sub-standard foods being sold in the state. At the same time, the lack of coordination between the law enforcing agencies is halting to put curb on sub-standard food items.
An official of the Food Safety Department said that it was not satisfied with the "meager" amount imposed as fine by ADCs in sub-standard food cases. The ADCs are adjudicating officers to decide on the fine in food adulterated cases. "But there is lack of coordination between Food Safety Department and ADCs," the official said.
The official said that restaurants, traditional bakers, milk vendors, butchers, and various others, who sell eatable items, have been found for violating various provisions of Food Safety and Standards Act 2006. During various inspections, the official said that it was also found that "synthetic colours" were being used in many popular food items.
"But ADC, who are adjudicating officers, have imposed lesser fine against gravity of cases," the official said.
The official said that Food Safety and Standards Act 2006 was not being executed "properly" in the state. while an ADC of one of the districts said that Food Safety Department was not working properly. "It is their job to send us cases. But they forward only few cases to us," he said.
The Act came into force across the country in August 2011. The Act was also to ensure improved quality of food for the consumers and censure misleading claims and advertisement by those in food business.
Meanwhile, a senior Food Safety Department official said that they were framing a list of cases, which would be challenged before the Food Safety Appellate Tribunal Kashmir (FSAT).
"There are already few cases in High Court that will be referred to FSAT. A list is also being compiled where we will challenge the ADC orders in sub-standard food cases," he said.
The FSAT was made operational in 2017. Principal District and Sessions Judge Muhammad Yousuf Akhoon has been appointed its Presiding Officer.
The official said the FSAT will hear the appeals against the orders of adjudicating officers.
"Anyone can challenge the orders of the ADC, who are adjudicating officers, in imposing penalty in sub-standard cases. The Food Safety Department is compiling list of cases for challenging the orders of adjudicating cases where meager amount has been imposed against the gravity of the case," he said.