The State of Meghalaya has a population of about 34.7 lakhs as per estimated in 2022. The Sheer magnitude of Food Safety Enforcement is a Challenging task at field level. The responsibility of Compliance of Food Safety and Standard Act 2006 and its Rules and Regulations there under rests primarily with the State Government through its Enforcement machineries. The foremost responsibilities of the Enforcement Officers of Food Safety are to regulate the manufacture and its processes, storage, Distribution, sale and Import to ensure the availability of safe and wholesome food for human consumption.
They are also responsible for protecting and promoting public health through Regulation and supervision of Food Safety.
- The Commissioner of Food Safety shall, by order, appoint the Designated Officer, who shall not be below the rank of a Sub-Divisional Officer, to be in-charge of Food Safety administration in such area as may be specified by regulations.
- There shall be a Designated Officer for each district.
- The functions to be performed by the Designated Officer shall be as follows, namely:-
- to issue or cancel licence of food business operators;
- to prohibit the sale of any article of food which is in contravention of the provisions of this Act and rules and regulations made there under;
- to receive report and samples of article of foods from Food Safety Officer under his jurisdiction and get them analysed;
- to make recommendations to the Commissioner of Food Safety for sanction to launch prosecutions in case of contraventions punishable with imprisonment;
- to sanction or launch prosecutions in cases of contraventions punishable with fine;
- to maintain record of all inspections made by Food Safety Officers and action taken by them in the performance of their duties;
- to get investigated any complaint which may be made in writing in respect of any contravention of the provisions of this Act and the rules and regulations made there under;
- to investigate any complaint which may be made in writing against the Food Safety Officer; and
- to perform such other duties as may be entrusted by the Commissioner of Food Safety.
Food Safety Officer
- The Commissioner of Food Safety shall, by notification, appoint such persons as he thinks fit, having the qualifications prescribed by the Central Government, as Food Safety Officers for such local areas as he may assign to them for the purpose of performing functions under this Act and the rules and regulations made there under.
- The State Government may authorise any officer of the State Government having the qualifications prescribed under sub-section (1) to perform the functions of a Food Safety Officer within a specified jurisdiction.
Powers of Food Safety Officer
The Food Safety Officer may-
(a) Take a sample –
(i) of any food, or any substance, which appears to him to be intended for sale, or to have been sold for human consumption; or
(ii) of any article of food or substance which is found by him on or in any such premises; which he has reason to believe that it may be required as evidence in proceedings under any of the provisions of this Act or of the regulations or orders made there under; or
(b) seize any article of food which appears to the Food Safety Officer to be in contravention of this Act or the regulations made there under; and
(c) keep it in the safe custody of the food business operator such article of food after taking a sample; and in both cases send the same for analysis to a Food Analyst for the local area within which such sample has been taken:
Provided that where the Food Safety Officer keeps such article in the safe custody of the food business operator, he may require the food business operator to execute a bond for a sum of money equal to the value of such article with one or more sureties as the Food Safety Officer deems fit and the food business operator shall execute the bond accordingly.