Vikash Sharma

Good news for foodies in Bhubaneswar as the popular ‘Khao Gali’, the street food court near the iconic Ram Mandir in Unit 3, has been declared as ‘Clean Street Food Hub’ by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).

Khao Gali, the street road connecting Convent School, has about 30 food stalls. Water and toilet facilities are provided in the lane having necessary beautification measures in place.

Under the programme of Blissful Hygienic Offering To God (BHOG), Tarinima Temple in Rourkela and ISKCON Temple Nayapali, Bhubaneswa have also received the certification of Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).

Sharing the information after a State-level food safety advisory committee meeting held on digital mode, Odisha government officials said that the State has moved up in the National Food Safety Index.

Odisha was placed at 26th position in 2018-19, 13th position in 2019-20. The State has moved to the 4th position in 2020-21, the officials stated.

At the meeting chaired by Chief Secretary Suresh Mahapatra, instructions have been given to train street vendors about preparations of safe food. Similarly, the officials have been asked to ensure that production and use of adulterated raw food materials should be dealt with sternly.

The State Food Testing Laboratory has enhanced its capacity and has been accredited by the National Accreditation and Calibration Board. Apart from this, mobile food testing laboratory has been rolled out for food testing in different melas, public celebrations and festivals.

It is pertinent to mention here that in 2020-21, 3049 samples were collected and tested by way of surveillance and enforcement. Out of this, 576 samples were booked under adulteration and misbranding. 

By the end of October 2021-22, 1984 samples were tested, out of which 446 were booked under adulteration or misbranding. Apart from this, a total of 280 cases were compounded with fines.