The training and capacity building ecosystem for promoting food safety and hygiene in the country has achieved an important milestone by crossing a mark of 1,00,000 trained and certified supervisors through 3,500 training sessions conducted so far in last 20 months since its inception in July 2017.
The Food Safety Training and Certification (FoSTaC) program initiated by FSSAI aims at building capacities of food handlers across the value chain including micro, small, medium and large scale enterprises in the food sector.
FoSTaC has created a ripple effect with a Pan-India training network comprising of 169 Training Partners and over 1,500 empaneled Master Trainers who are conducting trainings across 3 levels of courses (basic, advanced and special) in a cascading model. With 17 courses across the levels, the FoSTaC training program stipulates that Food Business Operators are required to have at least one trained & certified Food Safety Supervisor for every 25 food handlers or part thereof in each of their premises.
The FoSTaC program runs through an online portal also that manages all kinds of trainings end-to-end through an effective delivery of entire course module by trained subject matter experts in association with Training Partners empaneled with FSSAI.
Expressing happiness Pawan Agarwal, CEO, FSSAI congratulated the FoSTaC team across the country on this achievement. He said that this would definitely raise the bar for food safety and build a culture of self-compliance for food safety in food businesses in the country.
Under the FoSTaC program, over 80,000 people have been trained in the organized sector and almost 18,000 people in un-organized sector including street food vendors and self-help groups till date.
Ashwin Bhadri, CEO of Equinox Labs-India's leading food, water, and air testing company exclaimed that "We started off conducting 17 training sessions PAN-India and our company has now trained 3000 food handlers and conducted 100+ training sessions across the country. We are really proud of the initiative taken by FSSAI and it feels great to have contributed in our own way. The aim of our company on focusing Food Safety and spreading awareness on the same has achieved and we hope to surpass the current figures."
FoSTaC has proved that food safety is a shared responsibility that aims to promote a culture of self-compliance in food businesses by making them more diligent towards food safety and hygiene in their premises through effective training and capacity building of their own staff.
The success of this initiative lies on the power of partnership between stakeholders across the value chain and convergence towards enabling than policing as licensing & enforcement alone does not ensure food is safe for consumption. Such an ecosystem will pave a way towards creating a sustainable model that can be replicated by other similar geographies across the globe.