The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) recently released the State Food Safety Index (SFSI) 2022-2023, which assesses the performance of Indian states and union territories in ensuring food safety. This annual evaluation employs a dynamic benchmarking model to objectively measure food safety across all regions.
The latest index introduced a new parameter, ‘Improvement in SFSI Rank,’ altering the weights of existing parameters and shedding light on states’ progress over the previous year.
General Decline in State Food Safety Scores
- 19 out of 20 large Indian states, including Maharashtra, Bihar, Gujarat, and Andhra Pradesh, experienced a decline in their 2022-2023 SFSI scores compared to 2019.
Impact of the 2023 Index Parameter Adjustment
- After adjusting for the new parameter, 15 out of 20 states recorded lower SFSI scores in 2022-2023 compared to 2019.
Decline in ‘Food Testing Infrastructure’
- The availability of adequate testing infrastructure and trained personnel in states for testing food samples decreased significantly.
- The average score dropped from 13 out of 20 in 2019 to 7 out of 17 in 2022-2023.
- Gujarat and Kerala were the top performers in this category, while Andhra Pradesh performed the worst.
Compliance Scores Decreased
- Scores for the ‘Compliance’ parameter, measuring licensing, inspections, and other compliance-related tasks, also declined.
- Punjab and Himachal Pradesh received the highest scores, while Jharkhand received the lowest.
- The 2022-2023 average compliance score for large states decreased from 16 out of 30 in 2019 to 11 out of 28.
Varied Consumer Empowerment
- Tamil Nadu emerged as the leading state in consumer empowering initiatives, followed by Kerala and Madhya Pradesh.
- The overall average score increased from 7.6 points out of 20 in 2019 to 8 points out of 19 in 2022-2023.
Decline in Human Resources and Institutional Data Scores
- The availability of human resources, including Food Safety Officers and designated officers, decreased across states.
- The average score dropped from 11 out of 20 in 2019 to 7 out of 18 in 2022-2023.
Improvement in ‘Training and Capacity Building’
- The average score for training and capacity building increased from 3.5 out of 10 in 2019 to 5 out of 8 in 2022-2023.
Improvement in SFSI Rank
- In the ‘Improvement in SFSI Rank’ parameter, Punjab showed significant improvement, while 14 out of 20 large states received 0 points, indicating limited progress.