The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) said Tuesday it will conduct audit of meat units and municipal slaughter houses in 40 cities in the next three months via third-party auditing agencies.
A mandatory food safety audit of the supply chain for e-commerce retail entities involved in retail of meat or meat products will also be conducted, it said.
The decisions were taken in a meeting with stakeholders that discussed all aspects that affect the quality and safety of meat and meat products either in direct or indirect way.
Food safety regulator FSSAI said in a statement that there is unprecedented increase in the demand for animal proteins, not only in India but globally as well.
"The majority of consumers now in India are eating fish, mutton, goat, pig and poultry. The challenge for this nutritional transition to animal protein based diets is linked with the use of anti-microbials in the feed and compromised hygiene practices at slaughter houses and retail markets. The result is the lack of trust in consumers on the quality and safety of meat and meat products available to them," it said.
In this backdrop, the FSSAI decided in the meeting there is a need to conduct food safety audit of meat units/ municipal slaughter houses in coming three months in 40 cities expanded by third party auditing agency.
Among other decisions taken, the regulator said a steering group for "clean and safe meat" will be formed that will have an overall responsibility for carrying out the activities in this campaign, including the preparation of guidance note for consumers on fish/meat and feed.
This campaign will be a part of 'Lauh Yatra movement' to clean the slaughter houses and meat markets. The stakeholders will be participating in the Lauh Yatra covering 2,000 locations in 40 cities across the country.
The regulator also proposed that the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) in collaboration with the feed manufacturing associations and other stakeholders, will review and amend their feed standards for livestock and poultry, if required.
Besides, the FSSAI has decided to train and build capacity of food business operators involved in this sector under the FoSTaC Programme from this month with a target of completing at least 50 trainings by the end of December 2018.
The FSSAI will also plan a study on the overall ecosystem in sectors of meat, fish, poultry and feed to identify the gaps/foods safety concerns and the ways to address them.