FDCA to launch digital system to improve efficiency
The Gujarat Food and Drug Control Administration (FDCA) is set to launch a system wherein dedicated softwares would be utilized and gadgets would be given to field officers
Ahmedabad: In order to streamline and speed up its work and improve efficiency, the Gujarat Food and Drug Control Administration (FDCA) is set to launch a system wherein dedicated softwares would be utilized and gadgets would be given to field officers.
“To accomplish our goals, we have made dedicated software for our upcoming project- Food Safety Management System (FSMS). The software will be installed on devices such as mobile phones, tablets or dedicated hand-held devices, which will remain connected with our central server,” Commissioner of Gujarat FDCA Dr H G Koshia informed.
Under this system, the FDCA also eyes to track their staff like Food Safety Officers (FSOs), build a central database of all the food samples collected in the state and increase conviction ratio of people caught selling or making adulterated food items.
To ensure that Food Business Operators (FBO) do not sell or manufacture adulterated food, FSOs collect food samples and then send them to government food laboratories and if the lab gives negative remarks, the FBOs have to face legal action from FDCA. However, officials feel that the present system is not up to the mark.
“Food samples and their details reach us after a considerable gap of time. But with the FSMS, we will overcome such problems, as details of samples will be submitted to us in real time through the devices by the FSOs,” said Koshia.
As per the plan, around 270 such devices with GPRS connectivity and FSMS software will be given to officers, who will have to enter the details of each sample and submit them online.
According to officials, the new system will also help the FDCA to track movements and field visits of FSOs, which is very difficult in the present system.
“There are so many FSOs working in the state. It is very difficult to monitor their work in the present system. However, with this system, we can track the exact location of FSOs whenever they submit details of food samples. It is necessary to check if the officer has really gone to the location,” said Koshia.
He expressed hope that the new system would enable them to nab more law violators.
“Details of each sample will also be available to our legal branch. So when the laboratory gives negative result about a sample, that vendor can be tracked easily for further legal action through our central database. This will help us in increasing the conviction rate,” Koshia added.
According to him, the system will also prove crucial in saving people from consuming adulterated food produced at one place, but distributed across the state by the FBO.
“If we find an samples of adulterated food, we can alert all the field officers to keep a watch on a particular food item, as that manufacturer would have supplied that food item across the state. We can also force the manufacturer to recall all the material sent in the market and stop people from consuming it,” Koshia said.