A Central Sector Scheme for “Strengthening of Food Testing System in the Country including Provision of Mobile Food Testing Labs” has been rolled out by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) with an outlay of Rs.481.95 crore under which 42 state food laboratories would be upgraded (atleast one in each State/UT and two in larger States) with state of the art analytical equipment including establishment of new food laboratories in North Eastern (NE) States, subject to readiness of the State Governments.
So far, a total of 38 food laboratories of 29 States/UTs have been taken up for upgradation and a total grant of Rs.280.19 crore has been released. This includes release of Rs.0.50 crore to Regional Public Health Laboratory, Vishakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh.
FSSAI has a provision in its Central Sector Scheme to provide grant-in-aid for setting up of new food laboratories in North-Eastern States subject to readiness of State Governments.
For improvement in the quality of testing, FSSAI is strengthening State/UT Food Testing Laboratories by upgrading them with 3 high end equipments (viz., ICP-MS, GC-MSMS and LC-MSMS)/basic equipments and by setting up of microbiological laboratory. As stated in reply to part (c), an amount of Rs.280.19 crore has been released so far for the purpose.
These equipments would enable SFTLs to analyze quality and safety parameters including pesticide residues, veterinary drug residues, contaminants, heavy metals, microbiological contamination in food products etc. and enable them to obtain accreditation from National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL).
The following 7 States/UTs do not have State Food Testing Laboratories (SFTLs):
Andaman & Nicobar, Arunachal Pradesh, Chandigarh, Dadar and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, Ladakh, Lakshadweep, and Mizoram.
The setting up of a SFTL is subject to availability of resources and feasibility.