Food Safety Training & Certification (FoSTaC) Program
Introduction: The Food Safety Training & Certification (FoSTaC) program held on May 5, 2023, at the G4 Hall of PDM University in Bahadurgarh, Haryana, served as a pivotal event for food businesses across the food value chain. FoSTaC, a comprehensive training and certification ecosystem, was introduced to address the critical need for trained personnel in ensuring food safety.
Background: FoSTaC, designed by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), aligns with its mandate under Section 16(3)(h) of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006. The program aims to train and certify individuals as Food Safety Supervisors (FSS), who will, in turn, train other food handlers within their respective premises, creating a network of well-trained professionals. The curriculum encompasses 16 courses catering to various types of food businesses, organized into three competency levels: Basic, Advanced, and Special.
Event Details: The event was organized in collaboration with Dr. Tejpal Dhewa,Central University of Haryana a prominent FSSAI Member, with the leadership of Dr.Laxmi Narula. Dr. Sulochana Jangu and Mr. Dharmveer took on the roles of convener, ensuring the seamless execution of the program.
Objectives: The primary objectives of the FoSTaC program were as follows:
Skill Development: To equip life science students with up-to-date knowledge and skills related to food safety measures, both scientific and social, as mandated by the Government of India.
Certification: To certify participants as “Food Safety Supervisors” in compliance with the regulations set forth by the FSSAI, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.
Compliance: To ensure that all food businesses holding central or state licenses have at least one trained and certified food safety supervisor for every 25 food handlers or part thereof on their premises.
Course Diversity: To offer a comprehensive range of 19 courses categorized into three levels: Basic, Advanced, and Special, catering to the specific needs of diverse food businesses.
Event Highlights: The FoSTaC program witnessed enthusiastic participation from students and professionals in the field of food safety. The event featured expert-led training sessions, discussions on food safety regulations, and practical demonstrations, providing attendees with valuable insights and knowledge.
Conclusion: The Food Safety Training & Certification (FoSTaC) program held on May 5, 2023, at PDM University’s G4 Hall, was a significant step toward ensuring food safety in India. By training and certifying individuals as Food Safety Supervisors, FoSTaC is contributing to a safer and healthier food ecosystem. The event’s success is a testament to the dedication of all stakeholders involved in advancing food safety measures in the country.
Acknowledgments: We extend our gratitude to Dr. Tejpal Dhewa,Dr. Laxmi Narula, Dr. Sulochana Jangu, Mr. Dharmveer, and all participants for their active involvement and commitment to promoting food safety standards in India. The FoSTaC program is poised to make a lasting impact on the food industry and the well-being of consumers across the nation.