22nd Sep 2021 11:09:PM Editorials
Eastern Sentinel Arunachal News

The Consumer Rights Organisation-Arunachal Pradesh lodged an FIR against an Itanagar restaurant for for violating Food Safety and Standards (FSS) and Consumer Rights Act. The action comes after a customer shot a video which went viral on social media wherein he alleged the eatery was serving stale food. This incident must not be seen as a one-off but is likely to be among many similar cases which go unreported or worst consumers may not be aware of.
Food adulteration and contamination must be viewed with all seriousness as it is directly linked to the health and wellbeing of people. Violation of basic food regulations that include contaminated soft drinks and infected chocolates are rampant in India. It is no wonder then, that the country has been termed as the world’s worst food violator by Food Sentry, a global food sourcing monitoring agency.
 Arunachal’s food safety department or its equivalent must also raise awareness of the Food Safety and Standards Act (FSSA) 2006 that came into force in August 2011. Reports show that 30% of those engaged in the food industry are unaware of the Act which lays down laws governing the manufacture, storage, distribution and sale of food items to make them safe and wholesome for consumption. 
The risk of food toxicity should be minimized at all levels of food supply and consumption. Food regulators must inspect eateries regularly to check for quality of food and hygiene of the workplace. There must be strict enforcement of food regulations with the provision of heavy penalties and criminal prosecution for violating norms. Itanagar has seen a mushrooming of home-based food production units which must be carefully scrutinised for quality control as well, One of the biggest challenges for the Legal Metrology & Consumer Affairs department is that while it has rigorously made people aware of their rights, they have not been informed about where to approach when faced with such a dilemma. This is the situation in the capital Itanagar where focus is the most, so one can imagine the situation elsewhere.
Apart from sensitising the masses, focus must be on strengthening the consumer movement and developing consumer activists at the grassroots level through intensive training, capacity building and orientation programmes on consumer protection and rights.
With “eating-out culture” just making inroads in Arunachal especially the capital region, authorities need to tighten its tentacles at the very start if it wishes to rein control.

Kenter Joya Riba

(Managing Editor)
      She is a graduate in Science with post graduation in Sociology from University of Pune. She has been in the media industry for nearly a decade. Before turning to print business, she has been associated with radio and television.
Email: kenterjoyaz@easternsentinel.in / editoreasternsentinel@gmail.com
Phone: 0360-2212313

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