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How safe is imported food?

So, how would you know where your food comes from? Imports of fish, fruit, and vegetables were supposed to be labelled by nation of origin under the Farm Act, however, the latter two goods' adoption has been postponed. Meanwhile, India buys ever more, despite the fact that the value of its imports has increased due to the cheaper currency.

Organic vegetables & fruits imported during the off season, when native production dwindles or ceases, contribute to this growth. 

Imported fruit makes up around a fifth of our total fruit supply, both frozen & fresh. It's around half for tree-nuts. More than two-thirds of shellfish & fish are imported from other countries.

An average Indian consumes around 260 pounds of imported goods per year, which includes processed, ready-to-eat items as well as single ingredients. Imports make for roughly 13% of the country's annual diet. 

Inspections are focused on goods that are known to be contaminated, such as shellfish, fish, vegetables & fruits. Food from nations or producers that have been previously identified as problematic is also flagged for further investigation. 

Even meals that are thought to be harmless can have unintended dangers. Take gluten from wheat for example: Grains byproducts & Grain such as it are rarely consumed raw & pose minor health hazards since germs and other diseases are killed though & during the cooking process. 

 

Imported food specifications & standards are governed by regulations

  • Food standards and specifications 
  • Food additives standards and specifications 
  • Health-related functional food standards and criteria 
  • Approval of functional ingredients for health-related functional foods 
  • Food additive standards and parameters
  • Food utensils, containers, and packaging standards and criteria

 

Measures practiced for Food Safety

The main priority is to safeguard public health:

The ultimate purpose of all imported food safety initiatives is to safeguard and promote public health.

Maintaining a fair playing field for foreign & domestic food producers:

Agencies must use all of its supervision tools to guarantee that food imported from other countries would be as safe as food produced in India. Despite the fact that the instruments used in the foreign and domestic domains differ, they ultimately result in a multilayered food safety net with regions of overlap and connectivity.

To assure success, measurement and continuing refinement are required:

Imported food safety actions will be improved and maximized through the development of performance measurements and outcome indicators.

Establishing integrity as the standard:

In support of our resolve to operate transparently, FDA will disclose non-confidential data relating to inspections of overseas importers & suppliers, sampling & examination, & other imported food safety actions.

 

Conclusion

We have more control now than we did several years ago, but it is mostly the importer's obligation to ensure that the products are safe. It is only then that we too can trust & rely on the safety & quality of the imported food blindfolded. This, in turn, would not only build faith but also facilitate fruitful import & export of food amongst & between countries thereby increasing revenue as well.

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