India launches InFoLNet and Food Safety on Wheels and strengthens labs

India has launched the Indian Food Laboratory Network (InFoLNet) and Food Safety on Wheels, strengthened state food testing laboratories, compiled a toolkit for rapid testing of common adulterants and decided to conduct the examination for junior analysts as the number of food testing labs in the country is currently inadequate. Indian Food Laboratory Network (InFoLNet) is a digital solution to connect all food labs in the country to a centralised lab management system (LMS). This system would provide an endto- end solution, where samples collected by the field units would be coded and tested in FSSAI-notified labs and the results would be available in a central database. Mobile units, called Food Safety on Wheels, are multi-purpose vehicles for food testing, public education and awareness and for conducting awareness programmes. Mobile units have fully-functional laboratories equipped with basic infrastructure for quick qualitative testing for detection of common adulterants in various food commodities. Sixty-two such units are planned, at least one for each state or Union Territory (UT) and more in respect of bigger states. Nine mobile units have recently been flagged off. This covers the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Jharkhand, Jammu and Kashmir, Kerala, Manipur, Meghalaya and Nagaland. FSSAI is also strengthening 45 state food labs by providing state-ofart high end food testing equipment including microbiology labs. A toolkit of simple test methods for detecting common adulterants at home such as extraneous matters deliberately added with food has also been put together. In order to address the issue of acute shortage of food analysts in the country, FSSAI has decided to hold the junior analysts’ examination along with food analysts’ examination in late September or early October.