Website review: Eat safely

Log on to this recently launched website of Union ministry of health and family welfare, government of India. It will show you what a grand understanding the government has of food safety...

 
Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

www.foodsafetyindia.nic.in

Log on to this recently launched website of Union ministry of health and family welfare, government of India. It will show you what a grand understanding the government has of food safety. The crux of this colourfully pictorial website is that food safety is in 'your' hands, meaning consumers -- housewives (sic) -- are responsible for the food they eat. What about government's responsibilities? When this site was developed, was the concerned ministry suffering from selective amnesia? Consider a few tips: "Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly". "Keep hot foods hot. Keep cold foods cold". "Cook food thoroughly. Don't cross contaminate". "Sanitise your kitchen dishcloths and sponges regularly. When in doubt, throw it out". "Always wash your hands well with soap and warm water, before and after food handling".

A slug called "Consumer advice" discusses important issues like: "Ten steps to a safe kitchen"; "Avoid biting nails". The Children and Educators section provides handy learning: wash your hands with warm water, "but be careful you don't burn yourself with water that is too hot". What about pesticides in food? No effort has been made to make readers understand how pesticides contaminate food. After a point, no amount of washing will rid the food of residues. This aspect is completely ignored. Is it because, here, the onus rests with the government, the pesticide industry and the food industry?

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