FSSAI Launches Food Safety Mitra: What, Why & How It Can Help You Eat Right

FSSAI Launches Food Safety Mitra: What, Why & How It Can Help You Eat Right

In the last few years, the FSSAI has come out with various schemes to update and strengthen food safety laws and regulations.

On 16 October 2019 the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) launched the Food Safety Mitra (FSM) scheme. The scheme aims to support small and medium scale food business houses to follow the laws on food safety and facilitate hygiene ratings, licensing and registration and training.

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India is one of the largest food markets in the world with over 32 lakh registered food business operators and a whole host of unregistered food joints. Like any vast industry, there are a number of challenges that food business houses face.

Therefore schemes like ‘Food Safety Mitra’ make food business easier to manage.


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What does this scheme mean?

“Apart from strengthening food safety, this scheme would also create new employment opportunities for youth, particularly with food and nutrition background. The FSM would undergo training and certification by FSSAI to do their work and get paid by food businesses for their services,” said FSSAI, Chief Executive Officer, Pawan Agarwal.

In the last few years, the FSSAI has come out with various schemes to update and strengthen food safety laws and regulations.

Along with the FSM, the government also launched the Eat Right Jacket and Eat Right Jhola. The Jacket is meant for the field staff and is designed to hold smartphone, RFID tag, QR code for identification and tracking purposes. This will help to bring efficiency and transparency in food safety administration. The Jhola is a reusable cloth bag aimed to replace plastic bags.

The role of the Safety Mitra will be four-fold:

Digital Mitra: This Mitra will help establishments and individuals apply for licenses or registrations, look into issues of suspended licenses and registrations, among others.

Hygiene Mitra: This mitra will conduct various audits at outlets to check if they are meeting all the safety and hygiene standards. They will also be responsible for training food safety supervisors and food handlers in safe and hygienic practices of handling food.

Currently, according to official records, there are only 32 lakh establishments, with licenses or are registered. With the introduction of this scheme the aim is to double this number.

Trainer Mitra: This Mitra will help train food safety supervisors and conduct training at FSSAI certified ‘Eat Right’ campuses. As of now, there are about 1.55 lakh trainers and with this scheme, the intent is to increase that number to at least 10 lakh trainers.

Campaign Ambassadors: This last category will play an important role in creating awareness amongst consumers. These ambassadors will spread this message of Food Mitras by creating campaigns across social media platforms and other available channels.

How can you become a Food Safety Mitra?

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If you wish to become a Food Safety Mitra, register on the FSSAI website from 26 November 2019 onward. If your application is selected then you will have to appear for an interview once you are through with the online test. Successful candidates will be trained and certified by the FSSAI. The certificate will need to be renewed every two years

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If you wish to become a digital mitra:
• Must be between 21 to 60 years of age
• Must possess a Bachelor’s degree from a recognised university
• Must have working knowledge of computers

If you wish to become a trainer mitra, there are these stages that you can apply for:
Basic level:
• You need to be a basic graduate in science/food technology/food science/chemistry/biology
• If you are a graduate in any other stream then you must have 5 years experience in relevant food industry
• Knowledge of the Food Safety Scheme rules and regulations
• Should be willing to spend 20 days a year in training
• Must have excellent communication skills

Advance level:
• You need to be a basic graduate in science/food technology/food science/chemistry/biology
• If you are a graduate in any other stream then you must have 7 years experience in relevant food industry
• Knowledge of Food Safety Scheme rules and regulations
• Should be willing to spend 20 days a year in training
• Must have excellent communication skills

If you wish to become a hygiene mitra:
• Must be between 21 to 60 years of age
• Must possess a bachelor’s degree in catering technology/hotel management/food dairy/bio technology/ microbiology from a recognised university
• Must possess knowledge of the FSSAI rules and regulations
• Sector specific knowledge of hygiene standards and sanitary practices is also needed

Benefit of this to the consumer?

Food can easily get contaminated at any stage, from its production to distribution. Unsafe food containing harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites or chemical substances, causes diseases like diarrhoea to cancers. An estimated 600 million fall ill after eating contaminated food and 4,20,000 die every year, resulting in the loss of 33 million healthy life years.

As consumers, we must read labels before buying our food products, handle and prepare food as per FSSAI prescribed guidelines and dine at hygienic places that have all the requisite licenses and registrations.

With 50,000 Food Safety Mitra’s to be certified over the next 5 years, this is a step in the right direction to ensure that we eat right and stay healthy.


Also Read:Knew Stapler Pins in Tea Bags Are Banned? 4 FSSAI Bans You Should Know About


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(Edited by Saiqua Sultan)

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