Lahore : Punjab Food Authority in collaboration with Lahore College Women University organized an awareness seminar on “Importance of Nutrition and Food Safety Issues” at university’s auditorium on Wednesday.
PFA Director General Noor ul Amin Mengal was the chief guest in the ceremony. LCWU Vice-Chancellor Professor Dr Uzma Qureshi, Mass Communication Department Chairperson Dr Anjum Zia, Nutrition Expert Shifa Ali, addressed with the participants, faculty members, PFA officials and a large number of students have participated.
PFA Director General Noor ul Amin Mengal spoke on occasion that PFA is ensuring food safety regime as per food laws. PFA has done remarkable work to pass 17 regulations in 2017 year on the basis of extensive research and approval of scientific panel. “We are ensuring the presence of food safety officer in the food industry with an aim to guide food worker/ handlers during food processing about hygiene and safety issues,” Mengal said.
He told that we have completed just 5 percent work until now but we are bringing new initiatives and programs to complete 95 percent remaining work. For which, PFA is giving awareness to masses through seminars, using social media tools and other sources. PFA also started a training program for food handlers, in which our experts trained them how to deal food and what things are necessary to adopt during duty hours,’ he informed.
PFA is spreading PFA’s “Healthy Punjab” vision under its slogan “From Farm to Fork” through awareness campaigns because no one can neglect the role of female/ mother in the growth of children. “We are creating awareness about products which are not suitable for children’s growth. “Around 44% of the children and 66% of pregnant and lactating mothers are deficient in necessary vitamins and minerals.
DG further said that PFA will regulate an industry in next few years by ensuring the implementation of food laws. He said that PFA has made many impossible things possible with the support of Chief Minister Punjab Mian Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif like a ban on the sale of carbonated drinks. He said that around Rs50 billion which was spending on carbonated drinks other healthy products now being spent on flavoured milk and juices after creating awareness among society. He said that PFA is bringing down the burden of diseases and saving the health budget which is spending on diseases.
Similarly, PFA will be ensured the implementation on the ban of the manufacturing, sale, and purchase of Banaspati Ghee for its extremely hazardous effects on human body by July 2020. He said that every country almost has been abandoned to use of Banaspati ghee except Pakistan, India and few other countries.
PFA is focusing on food safety and food nutrition. “We are giving assistance to sister food organization in other provinces of Pakistan like in Karachi and KPK through building their capacity. He further said that 36 PFA training schools have been established and thousands of food workers have been passed out from PFA’s schools. Now we are going to expand their nutritional programs by establishing nutritional clinics in all districts of Punjab,” he said.
Employment opportunities have increased for food workers who got level training from PFA School.
He said that PFA has set some protocols for the food industry and it is compulsory to follow them. PFA is also ensuring the implementation of schedules – one is food sampling and the second one is physical inspections for the industry. PFA is also taking steps for controlling labelling issues which noticed added that we have given two months deadline to food industry for writing in Urdu and English on the 15percent area of the products.
Speaking on the occasion, LCWU VC Uzma Qureshi said that food safety is important and nutrition also. She has appreciated the effort and concrete steps which have been taken by DG PFA Noorul Amin Mengal during last 15-16 months. She said that we can bring positive change in society if we collectively efforts to control any issue.
Earlier, DG PFA Noor ul Amin Mengal, VC Dr Uzma Qureshi and other official have visited the stalls and cooking stalls and poster exhibition regarding the importance of food safety which was held among university students.
DG has announced to give cash prizes and certificates for participants.