Some claim that, when it comes to food safety, Kerala consumers are being neglected too often. The recent incidents of food poisoning and the subsequent raids by the Food Safety Department have reemphasized the need to formulate a traceability protocol that would ensure food security at every stage, from producer to distributor to customer.
Although the state is yet to adopt measures to implement food traceability, the fruit-vegetable and aqua farmers who export products to the European Union and Japan have already adopted the protocol prescribed by those countries. This became the norm after the EU slapped a temporary ban on the import of fruits and vegetables such as Alphonso mangoes, eggplant and bitter gourd from India because of the presence of antibiotic residue, fruit flies and minerals like cadmium, some years ago.
According to officials from the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India, it’s high time that Kerala, which relies on other states for most of its vegetable, egg, milk and meat needs, implements traceability, say officials with the food safety department. It is the state government that has the responsibility to take the initiative in this regard. In fruits, vegetables and beef exports, traceability is now an approved norm.