Benefits linked to improving Quality control & food safety in a country include:
- Contribution to a wider variety of choice of fresh and nutritious food,
- Increase in foreign currency asset of the country,
- Diminution of food losses and contribution to countries’ food security
- Contribution to consumer’s health protection.,
- Contribution to the harmonization of food regulations and standards based on international standards as per WTO/ SPS Agreement,
- Contribution to poverty alleviation especially for peasant or small scale farmers,
- Promotion of a good country’s reputation
Safety program and activities should be applied to the complete food chain, from food production on the farm, through to the consumer and this includes introduction of concepts like:
- implementation of GAP( Good Agricultural Practices ), GMP, GHP, HACCP and TQM
- GMP covers the fundamental principles, procedures and means needed to design an environment suitable for the production of acceptable quality.
- GHP describes the basic hygienic measures that establishments should meet and which are the perquisites (s) to other approaches, in particular HACCP.
GMP/GHP requirements have been developed by governments, Codex, food industry and other food inspection and control authorities
Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point is a systematic approach to safety. HACCP System is a process system which identifies, evaluates and control hazards that are significant to food safety, while the traditional Quality Control System relies mostly on end product testing or quality analysis. It is applied to the entire process to the farm to fork approach.
There are as many as 16 laws relating to foods, the two main laws being the PFA act and the FPO. Recently, a law has been enacted that would replace all previous food laws. This law is called the Food Safety and Standards Act 2006, governed by the ‘Food Safety and Standards Authority of India’.