Thiruvananthapuram | Kerala government will collaborate with the Mysuru-based Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI) as part of plans to strengthen its food safety initiatives. Health Minister V S Sivakumar said the collaboration would help enhance the capabilities of the state Food Safety Wing under the Department of Health in the areas of food safety analysis and research.
A Memorandum of Understanding for the technical collaboration will be signed at a function here on September 17, he said at a high-level meeting of food safety and health department officials here last night. CFTRI is one of the 40 national research laboratories in the country set up under the aegis of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research. The government was also considering a Rs 56 crore programme to upgrade the facilities of laboratories and other technical units under the Food Safety wing, he said.
The government plans the upgradation of basic infrastructure of laboratories, increasing of staff strength and modernisation of the offices of Food Safety wing under the Rs 56 crore project, he said.
A proposal to create as many as 13 new posts of technical experts including microbiologists and chemical analysts is also under the active consideration of the government, the minister said.
In the wake of increasing instances of food adulteration, Kerala government recently launched a mass drive to regulate and restrict use of chemicals and other harmful ingredients in food articles sold in the state and check the arrival of pesticide-ridden vegetables from neighbouring states.
A series of raids had been conducted and several eateries and vegetable shops had been either closed or served notice across the state under the drive. Over 1700 food safety raids had been carried out and nine shops had been closed for selling adulterated products during Onam season alone.
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