Food Safety Training and Certification (FoSTaC)

FSSAI Role Function and Initiative – is the most important topic as per FSSAI Exam 2021 syllabus. in this post, I am providing “A General Understanding of FSSAI Role, Functions and Initiatives” detailed Notes and this is the Next chapter –Food Safety Training and Certification (FoSTaC).

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Food safety training and certification (FoSTaC) is a large-scale training Programme of food safety & standard authority of India initiated with the aim to spread education and raise awareness on the Food Safety & Standard Act, Rules & Regulation among food business operators.

While FoSTaC training is voluntary at present, the food authority has approved, in principle, a decision to make the training mandatory. So, every food business establishment will soon be required to have at least one trained certified Food Safety Supervisor (FSS) through FoSTaC for every 25 food–handlers on their premises.

Food safety commissioners/officials in all States/UTs/Districts are, therefore, advised to coordinate with empaneled training partners to organize training in their respective areas.

Objectives of FoSTaC

Raising the bar of food safety in the country by –

  1. Creating an improved environment of self-compliance to FSS Act, rules and regulations by the responsible Food Business.
  2. Bringing a behavioral change and inculcating a culture of Food Safety in the country.

Food Safety Supervisor

A food safety supervisor (FSS) is a person who is trained to recognize and prevent risks associated with food handling in the food business, holds a valid FSS certificate under food safety Training & Certification (FoSTaC) of FSSAI training Programme or approved by Food Authority from time to time and shall be able to train and supervise the food handler.

Food Handler

A Food Handler is a person who directly handles packaged or unpackaged food, Food equipment and utensils or food contact surfaces and is therefore expected to comply with food hygiene requirements.

Training Partners

A training partner is any organization who is involved either in training or is part of the food ecosystem as a training providing agency, large food business, food safety audit or certification agency, food testing laboratories, etc.

National Level Resource Person (NLRP)

The national-level resource person is those who have more than 10 years of experience from industry, academia, and other related field and are being nominated into the direct resource pool of FSSAI. NLRPs are responsible for developing training manuals providing training to the trainers and large-scale mobilization.

Details of Courses

There are 19 certification courses developed by a panel of domain experts empanelled by FSSAI that are offered at three levels: Basic, Advanced and Special, that cover the entire food value chain.

Basic – 5 courses – duration 4 hrs

This course is available for street food vending, catering, manufacturing, storage & transport, retail.

Special – 9 courses – 4 to 8 hrs. each

This course is available for milk & milk products, animal meat & meat products, poultry meat, fish and seafood, packed water, bakery level 1 and level 2, edible oil and fats, health supplements etc.

Categories of Stakeholders of FoSTaC

The food safety training Programme has been built up within the food ecosystem itself involving all the stakeholders engaged with the food sector in one way or another.

The Stakeholder of FoSTaC Are As Follow

  1. Main Stakeholders
    • FSSAI
    • State FDA
    • FBOs
  2. Implementing stakeholders
    • Training partners
    • National level resource person (NLRP)
    • Trainer cum assessor
    • Trainee

Role and Responsibility of Stakeholders

The ecosystem of FoSTaC will run smoothly and grow exponentially when all the stakeholders will contribute their part remaining within their own forte.

Role of FSSAI

The roles of FSSAI in FoSTaC are course identification, empanelment of training partners, finalisation of their eligibility condition, Maintaining and regulating FoSTaC portal etc.

Role of State FDA

The role of the state food safety department is the most crucial since they act as a catalyst by pulling all stakeholders together. The responsibility of ensuring food safety is with the state food safety department who has to coordinate with the training partners, food business, market associations or other similar associations.

Role of Training Partners

FSSAI empanelled training partners will play the role of mentor besides providing training. The trainer may handhold each of the trained FSS as a follow up to their individual learning process.

Who can be the training partner under FoSTaC?

  1. big food business (central License and Big state licensees)
  2. Academic and vocational institutions.
  3. Training partners approved national skill development corporation (NSDC), Sector Skill Councils (SSCs) and State Skill Development Missions.
  4. Training agencies approved under other government schemes.

Role of Funding Partners

The entire training and certification process involves some cost which can be borne by the FBOs themselves, any business house from their corporate social responsibility (CSR) funds, government bodies, local bodies or the market association.

Role of Large FBOs

Large food businesses have a larger catchment area. Besides investing out of their CSR fund, industries can train their upstream and downstream supply chains.

Steps for Implementation

  1. for ease of access and transparency, the entire training program is managed through a dedicated online portal.
  2. the actual training under FoSTaC is delivered offline or in classroom modules through empanelled trainers.
  3. FSSAI has not prescribed any fixed fee for any course, though fees are expected to be nominal since the training content and use of FoSTaC portal are provided free of charge by FSSAI.
  4. However, there would still be some cost involved and this can be met by the FBOs whose employees are being trained, through other government schemes or through CSR funds of companies etc.

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FSSAI Role Function and Initiatives complete notes

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