FSSAI discontinues 14 state food testing labs which do not have NABL accreditation
New Delhi, May 24 (KNN) The Foods Safety & Standard Authority of India (FSSAI) has decided to discontinue as many as 14 State Food Testing Laboratories which do not have NABL accreditation.
The National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) is a Constituent Board of Quality Council of India. Laboratory accreditation is a procedure by which an authoritative body gives formal recognition of technical competence for specific tests/ measurements, based on third party assessment and following international standards.
In a notification, FSSAI said, “In the last 2 years, FSSAI has repeatedly requested States/ Union Territories for initiating NABL accreditation process and submit an undertaking in this regard..”
The food watchdog had warned that in case the laboratories fail to do so, “respective laboratories shall be discontinued as food laboratories under Section 98 of FSS Act, 2006.
The 14 state laboratories which have not submitted desired undertaking of obtaining NABL accreditation include – State Food Laboratory, GB Pant Hospital Campus, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Port Blair; Food Laboratory at Guntur Medical College Campus in Andhra Pradesh; Public Health Laboratory, Vadodara etc.
FSSAI said since NABL Accreditation is the primary criteria to a food laboratory under FSS Act, 2006 and the 14 state laboratories mentioned in FSSAI’s list are continuing under section 98 of FSS Act, 2006, for more than 10 years and not even initiated the process of obtaining NABL accreditation, it has been decided to discontinue these food laboratories from the ambit of Section 98 of FSS Act, 2006 with effect from June 14, 2019.
The FSSAI notifies food laboratories and research institutions accredited by NABL for the purposes of carrying out analysis of food samples by the food testing labs.
Food testing labs are very important in the entire Product Approval process, literally from “start to finish.”
They generate all the food analysis data as well as safety data (from clinical trials) that is required in the application process. Further, Section 22 of FSSA indicates that food analysis data should show data on ingredients etc. Other parameters include label claims (such as in energy drinks, and functional foods like dietary and health supplements) and shelf-life study data. (KNN Bureau)