Food safety is a growing concern all over the world and it demands greater assurance about the safety and quality of food to consumers. The increase in world food trade and India’s potential for higher share in international food trade in line with the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement especially of Sanitary and Phyto-sanitary (SPS) and TBT necessitates the adoption of food safety measures. Food standards are expected to acquire more importance on food safety with respect to pathogens, residues (antibiotic, pesticides, hormonal and heavy metals etc.), adulterants and toxins to meet the demand for animal products which are safe for human consumption.
Accredited laboratories with regular services for food testing are rarely available even in the Metropolitan cities like Mumbai. In absence of risk assessment approach, setting regulatory standards, testing facilities for domestic sector has been quite difficult. Consumers in today’s world are concerned about risks from chemical and bacterial contamination of the food supply. The surveillance, testing and monitoring of meat contaminants is mandatory to initiate timely control measures. Quality will assure a confidence among consumers, both domestic and international, and will thus facilitate the growth of meat trade within India, and will also foster export. Therefore, it is an hour’s need to establish the "Centre of Excellence for Advanced Research on Animal Food Safety" as a service provider under one umbrella.
The establishment of such centre under the auspices of an oldest (more than 130 years) academic institution of India will facilitate translation of laboratory research to field/industry application. It will also cater needs of consumers, livestock and poultry processing sectors etc. across the country. It will offer a platform for fellow veterinarians to undertake continuing education to stay updated with the latest technology and knowledge in the field of Food Safety. Once standardizations / validations of protocols/SoPs of advance technologies for food testing are done, the testing facility will be useful for providing services to the society.