Only realising fines not the solution: food minister
Food Minister Sadhan Chandra Majumder yesterday stressed on raising awareness among people about consuming safe food, rather than realising fines through conducting sudden drives.
“If we do not raise awareness then it [food safety] will not be possible only through enforcing law,” he said.
He was addressing a press briefing at the capital's Jatiya Press Club.
BFSA arranged the briefing to inform the media about its initiatives centring this year's National Food Safety Day, which was observed yesterday for the second consecutive year.
Marking the occasion, BFSA will arrange a two-day programme including a National Food Safety Fair and a seminar at the Krishibid Institution Bangladesh from today.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will inaugurate the programme, the food minister said, adding that various programmes will also be held across the country.
The minister further said drives against unsafe food will be conducted solely by the Bangladesh Food Safety Authority (BFSA) in future.
“It [BFSA] is still new. It lacks sufficient manpower. I do not think others will be required when it becomes full-fledged,” the minister said.
Responding to a query, he said coordination among different government bodies are required to ensure food safety.
Addressing the briefing, BFSA Chairman Mohammad Mahfuzul Hoque said they have plans to provide license to the capital's street food vendors to ensure food safety.
About four lakh vendors are selling street food in Dhaka city at present, he said, adding, they will take help from the city corporations, municipal offices and local government bodies to work to this end all over the country.
BFSA has already provided different grading stickers recognising food standards at some restaurants in the capital, and has been monitoring their activities, Mahfuzul said.
If the restaurants do not maintain standard they will be downgraded, he added.
Secretary of Food Ministry Shahabuddin Ahmed, among others, addressed the press briefing.