TIRUPATI: Andhra Pradesh ranked second last among the large states in ensuring food safety in 2020-21. The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) gave the state a total of 36 points out of 100 in its state food safety index report 2020-21.
The third edition of the index was released by the Union ministry of health and family welfare. It gave ranks to 20 large states, eight small ones and eight Union territories based on five parameters-human resources and institutional data (20% weightage), compliance (30%), food testing facility (20%), training and capacity building (10%) and consumer empowerment (20%).
According to the report, AP received poor marks in various categories. In human resources and institutional data, it got eight of 20 marks; in compliance, it secured 13 of 30; in food testing, infrastructure and surveillance, it got three of 20; in training and capacity-building, it secured three of 10 and in consumer empowerment, it received nine of 20 marks to be placed 19th among the 20 large states. In 2019-20 that state ranked 18th with an overall score of 42.8 out of 100.
The state is among the 16 large states that have been bracketed as weak. Uttar Pradesh had 59 marks, Himachal Pradesh - 58, Madhya Pradesh - 57, West Bengal - 54, Karnataka - 51, Punjab - 48, Haryana - 47, Jharkhand - 47, Maharashtra - 44, Chhattisgarh - 43, Assam – 38, Rajasthan - 38 and Bihar – 35, while Telangana did comparatively better with 49. With 72, Gujarat topped the list of states, followed by Kerala - 70, Tamil Nadu - 64 and Odisha - 60.
Speaking to Deccan Chronicle, an official from the food safety department, on condition of anonymity said that there was a shortage of manpower in the food safety unit. “Some of food safety officials have to look after at least two districts at a time besides going about inspections to ensure quality food. Due to shortage of manpower, the overall marking has been poor,” he said.
He added that relief was round the corner as they have taken approval for filling up all vacant posts.
FSI score of Andhra Pradesh:
|Human Resources and institutional data (20%)||8||8|
|Food testing, infrastructure and surveillance (20%)||4.8||3|
|Training and capacity building (10%)||6.5||3|
|Training and capacity building (10%)||6||9|
|Total score (100%)||42.8||36|