Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala topped the national food safety index released by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), which is a first for the state, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Wednesday.
He said the "historic achievement" by the state was thanks to the various initiatives such as the food safety grama panchayat scheme implemented in 140 panchayats and the Safe and Nutritious Food at School project carried out in 500 schools.
Besides that, thousands of food safety awareness classes were also held at the state level for the general public and that too was a reason behind the achievement, he said in a Facebook post.
He also tweeted about the achievement. "Proud moment as #Kerala tops the State Food Safety Index 2023 in the large state category by@fssaiindia! It comes as a deserving recognition of GoK's committed efforts in the sector, including the exemplary implementation of Safe and Nutritious Food at School," he said in the tweet.
Health Minister Veena George said the state not only achieved the top spot in the food safety index, but its food safety department also doubled its revenue in 2022-23 compared to the 2021-22 financial year. The revenue of Rs 28.94 crore generated by the department in 2022-23 was 193 per cent more than that of 2021-22, the minister said in a statement.
The award with a trophy and plaque was presented by Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Mansukh Mandaviya and was accepted on behalf of Kerala by Food Safety Commissioner V R Vinod, the statement said.
Pinarayi Vijayan's Facebook post
Kerala has earned a historic achievement in food security at the national level. The state, in a first, has topped the Food Safety Index released by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). The national food security index is prepared by evaluating around 40 parameters, including various awareness programmes.
The Food Safety Grama Panchayat held across 140 local bodies, the Safe and Nutritious Food at School scheme implemented in around 500 schools and the numerous food safety awareness classes conducted at the state level for the general public made a strong case for Kerala.
Also, as per the instructions of FSSAI, the 26 millet fairs and 148 'Eat Right' fairs held across the state earned a special mention in the index. The state is also proud to have doubled its revenue compared to the previous year. The Rs 28.94 crore earned this year is an all-time record. Congratulations to all employees of the Food Safety Department who worked tirelessly and systematically for this historic achievement.
(With PTI inputs)