Thiruvananthapuram: Health Minister Veena George on Friday informed that a special task force has been constituted to conduct food safety inspections in the state. This comes at a time when the regime has been receiving flak over the lack of proactive measures in the wake of suspected food poisoning cases in the state.
The task force will be led by the food and safety deputy commissioner. Food and safety assistant commissioner, two food safety officers, and a clerk will be part of it, informed the health minister.
In case of issues like food poisoning incidents, the task force will be responsible for conducting investigations and taking appropriate actions. In such cases, the task force will also submit reports before Food and Safety Commissioner. The task force is also assigned with restricting the sale of adulterated products.
The probe reports must be sent to the Commissioner’s office without delay. The activities of the task force will be evaluated once in every six months, and changes will be made if necessary, she said.
Health minister has also directed the task force members to perform their duties with utmost seriousness, collective responsibility, and confidentiality.
The duties of the special task force are as follows:
- The task force should study reported cases of food poisoning and adulteration
- The centres and marketing channels involved in the production of adulterated products should be exposed, and measures to prevent such activities should be recommended
- Timely intervention, investigation, reporting, and coordination of activities to restrict the chance of food poisoning outbreaks
- Identify and take action against establishments operating without a license, and those producing and using substandard edible oil, ghee, artificial colours, fake organic products, health supplement, and food supplements
Additionally, the task force should look into food-related complaints circulating on social media and perform other duties as directed by the commissioner.