NEWS FOOD QUALITY & SPS

Capacity Building Initiative for Trade
Development in India (CITD)

ACT 112d Technical advice on quality assurance and testing methods – detection of residues of veterinary medicines

A one week training on the detection of nitroimidazole, sulphonamides, tetracyclines and quinolonones / fluoroquilonolones, was organised at the headquarters of the Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) in Kochi, from 06 to 10 February 2017. This training was organised in cooperation with the foreign partnership instrument and TAIEX programme.
The training was jointly conducted by 2 experts from the EU-RL and NRL Reference Laboratory of the Anses-Fougeres: Dr. Eric VERDON & Dr. Dominique PESSEL. The experts were mobilised through TAIEX (ref 63336).

The mission was aimed at providing to a group of 25 analysts from the 3 laboratories of MPEDA and one invited participant from the EIA-Chennai laboratory, a thorough knowledge on the European concept of validation of analytical methods, particularly validation of confirmatory methods, dedicated to the official control of veterinary medicinal product residues in aquaculture products. A particular focus was proposed on the practice with official raw data analyses in routine control of these residues and in line with the European Decision (EC) No. 657/2002.

Theoretical presentations and several practical hands-on sessions on the usage of validation templates (Excel spreadsheets) targeted the banned veterinary substances (chloramphenicol, nitrofurans and dyes) on the one hand and, the authorized MRL antibiotic substances (tetracyclines, sulfonamides…) on the other hand. Calculations of the parameters for characterization of the performance of the analytical methods were explained in details (specificity, trueness, precision, decision limit CCα) and practical Excel spreadsheets were provided to support the exercises. The program was articulated in the way to proceed during the second part of the 5-day training to more hands-on sessions based on these particular examples. The analytical raw data from real-life validation and routine control were provided by the Anses-Fougeres as well as by the MPEDA-Kochi for some of them.

The hands-on sessions were pretty much appreciated by all the trainees, all of them being able to handle and master during the 2.5 last days and on their own computers most of the concepts presented during the 2.5 first days.

During the training, clarifications concerning both the Commission Decision 2002/657/EC and document SANCO/2004/2726 guideline interpretations were given to the trainees on:

  • Calculation of Sum CCα (case of tetracyclines, of sulfonamides…),
  • Validation levels for banned substances (with MRPL/RPA or not),
  • Calculation of Decision CCα for banned and for authorized compounds.

Additional clarifications were also proposed on the use of methods in routine survey control and according to the following issues: calibration curve, use of internal standards, and residue marker for nitrofurans in food.

Trainees performed 2 Quizz tests one at the beginning of the training session and one at the end of the session. This last test showed that all trainees upgraded their knowledge for all of the issues detailed by the experts.

At the end of the session, trainees expressed more confidence in the way to proceed to validation of analytical methods for veterinary drug residue control and for the implementation of official routine control.

Seemingly it was the first time the 25 analysts of the 3 labs of the MPEDA had the opportunity to gather into the very same meeting / workshop / training mission which was 100% appreciated by participants.

Further actions might be of interest for the 3 MPEDA labs to progress in their mastering of the issues treated during the training. These further actions could take the frame of some study visits at the EU Reference and/or EU-MS routine laboratories.

The experts recommended that a new frame of annually performed trainings/workshops organized by the MPEDA should be organised, at one of its locations, with particularly some on-site trainings on specific analytical methods whatever with or without the presence of external expert trainers.

ACT 113a Training in the implementation of sampling methods – Preparation of a Practical guide on Sampling for the Detection of Mycotoxins

The guide was drafted in close collaboration with the Italian Competent Authority, ISS National Reference Laboratory for Mycotoxins detection. This was done during the months of June and July 2016, verified by the CITD Team Leader and revised accordingly by the senior expert recruited to carry-out this task. The final version of the guide was submitted on 25 July. The document contains:

  • Background information on Effects on health of mycotoxins and Control of the presence of mycotoxins;
  • Information on most relevant EU Regulations on Food Safety, general remarks on the EU Regulations on Food Safety, applicable EU Regulations for sampling for mycotoxins, EU guidance documents and other relevant standards;
  • Explanation of general provisions according to Regulation (EC) No 401/2006 (Annex), static sampling, dynamic sampling, manual sampling and automatic sampling methods;
  • Detailed explanations on method of sampling for cereals and cereal products;
  • Detailed explanations on method of sampling for groundnuts (peanuts), other oilseeds, apricot kernels and tree nuts;
  • Detailed explanations on method of sampling for spices;
  • Detailed explanations on method of sampling for very large lots (>500 tonnes) or lots of cereals stored or transported in a way whereby sampling throughout the lot is not feasible [Regulation (EU) No 519/2014];
  • Nine practical examples illustrating how to implement the sampling legislation : Example 1 - Sampling of large consignments of cereals stored in warehouses, Example 2 - Sampling of large consignments of cereals (>500t), Example 3 - Sampling from a heap of rice in a large warehouse, Example 4 - Sampling of a consignment of peanuts, Example 5 - Mixture of nuts and mixtures of nuts and dried fruit, Example 6 - Sampling of a consignment of spices, Example 7 - Sampling equipment and incremental samples, Example 8 - Measurement uncertainty and Example 9 – Sampling at retail or shipped in packages.


The guide is illustrated with a good number of pictures showing how the process of sampling should be carried out. It is available at CITD project office for review.


ACT 113abd Training in the implementation of sampling methods – Training in sampling of spices, peanuts and rice - TAIEX Mission 63341

A series of five training sessions on the application of EU requirements (legislation) on sampling for the detection of mycotoxins was implemented from 03 to 15 November 2016 in Kochi (spices), Mumbai (Spices and Peanuts), New Delhi (Rice) and Rajkot (peanuts). This missions was implemented by Mr. Dr. Carlo Brera and Ms. Dr. Barbara Dessantis from ISS (Istituto Superiore di Sanita), Rome working in the framework of TAIEX mission No 63341.

A total of 121 participants benefited directly from the programme which included theoretical sessions and practical exposure to the implementation of sampling methodologies, making reference to the EU legislation and Practical Guide on Sampling for the detection of mycotoxins prepared prior to the training.

The training course was planned with theoretical and practical sections and included visits into establishments of peanut, spices and rice agreed in advance with Indian Competent Authorities (Apeda, EIC, Spices Board).

All the presentations were therefore conducted following as close as possible the contents of the guide by referring the theoretical and practical work to the current existing EU legislation on mycotoxins, with the aim to give the most proper interpretation of the legislation concerning the evaluation of the presence of aflatoxins in peanuts, spices and rice products. More specifically, the lectures presented by the experts were mainly focused to present the general framework of the EU Food safety legislation firstly (General Food Law, Official Controls, Import conditions), followed by more specific information on EU legislation on sampling procedures for mycotoxin control and finally to the approaches to be followed for evaluating in the proper way the compliance of a lot to the EU rules. A video on sampling procedures edited by the experts was also shown.

The following were the titles of the speech included in the agenda: i) Overview of EU and International legislation on sampling; ii) General aspects and theory of sampling (part 1 and part 2); iii) The six letters of sampling; iv) Playing of the video Sampling Procedures for the official control on food of non-animal origin; and v) Practical exercises on sampling procedures for mycotoxin control (in peanuts, spices and rice).

As regards the practical session of sampling procedures, field visits were planned in advance by the organisers. Each visit was firstly introduced by presenting the specific cases that would have been encountered in the reality in the establishments to be visited and then practically performing on site sampling procedures in selected companies for spices (Cochi), spices and peanuts (Mumbai) rice products (Delhi) and peanuts (Rajkot).

The practical exercises were used to: i) show the principles of the analytical steps in mycotoxin analysis; ii) highlight the criteria to be used for implementing a reliable sampling procedure for all the three different food commodities and iii) get a feedback from the participants related to specific questions of each out of the three food commodities.

In each location, general and more specific explanation of the many different cases where different sampling procedures may be performed were given, to make participants aware of the existing differences and able to submit the right answers to the submitted questions. On average, the practical implementation was held in the same day in all the three locations, with the exception in some case where the practical demonstration was held in the second day. Due to different needs, the practical exercises were different in the four visited sites, considering inherent issues of sampling procedures for peanuts, spices and rice that imply peculiar differences in the implementation if sampling due to the differences in the distribution of mycotoxins in the corresponding lots.

ACT 114 Overview of the National Residues Monitoring Plan in Shrimp

  • 14 March: Meeting with Ms. Leena Nair, Head of MPEDA and discussion about the purpose of the training. Meeting with Mrs. Asha Parameswaran and the officers involved in the planning activities to discuss about the content of the program and adjust it according to their needs.
  • 15 March morning: Opening ceremony with Ms. Leena Nair, Head of MPEDA and presentation about EU regulations.
  • 15 March afternoon: Presentation about HACCP principles and BAP on shrimp farms. Risk analysis of farm activities and issues that should be addressed before samplings. Presentation of case study about Ecuador.
  • 16 March morning: Q&A session about regulations in Ecuador, comparison of regulations, strengths and weaknesses of each RMP.
  • 16 March afternoon: Working group. Review about Indian regulations related to the RMP.
  • 17 March morning: Group presentations: Issues identified, institutions related, problems, solutions proposed, times and responsible.
  • 17 March afternoon: Closing session for Working group
  • 18 March: Meeting with Mrs. Asha Parameswaran and planning officers, technical discussions on the implementation of the recommendations, wrap up and closing.

The training session was organised in Cochin with the support of Mrs. Asha Parameswaran, Joint Director of MPEDA, who provided all the means to facilitate the training. The sessions were attended by a total of 19 officers of MPEDA.

For the overview of the RMP, attendees were divided into two group for the analysis of the regulations and results, and for comparing with EU requirements. A study case about the National Control Plan for shrimp exports in Ecuador was presented, and the regulations and activities of this plan was compared with the RMP for discussing about weakness and strengths in every situation. After the analysis, every group identified the main challenges to be faced and proposed solutions to improve the RMP on aspects related to legal frame, institutions involved, register of farms and suppliers, controls and traceability. Detailed information was gathered into an internal working document for use of MPEDA.

ACT 115b Strengthening Plant Health Controls – Training in official controls

A “Training in plant health official controls for products exported to the EU”, was carried out for the benefit of the Directorate of Plant Protection, Quarantine and Storage (DPPQS), Department of Agriculture & Cooperation, Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India.

This 4-day training-of-trainers session for 36 participants from officials of the Indian Government and industry was held during 27-30 September 2016 in Bengaluru, with a view to enhance the understanding of the structure of EU plant health legislation, learn on the detailed requirements and methodologies to be deployed by Competent Authorities in their application, and provide to the trainees some basic trainers skills and tools to organise successful training programmes.

This training has provided a better understanding of these principles, which in turn should help India to exercise certification practices consistent with international standards which will effectively prevent the introduction of harmful organisms and have minimal impact on trade at the same time.

It was organised in the form of a 4-day workshop, of which day 1 was class room based and rest three days, the participants visited two pack houses (Innova pack house, Malur and Namdhari pack house, Bidadi) and the Bengaluru Plant Quarantine Station. The training program covered in particular the following:

  • International requirements for Phytosanitary Certification System, i.e. the ISPM phytosanitary certification requirements for exported Indian plant commodities;
  • EU Strategy against the introduction of harmful pests into the EU;
  • Situation on interceptions during import from India to EU on most common harmful organisms originating from Indian Commodities.
  • International Control of Wood Packaging Material to minimise the risk of introduction of harmful organisms.
  • The capability and authority of the NPPO to ensure that the national standards and regulations under its mandate comply with international standards, guidelines and recommendations.
  • Detection of commonly intercepted Harmful Organisms at EU Borders on a range of frequently exported fruits, vegetables and cut flowers.
  • Findings of the field visits after the field visits.

ACT 122b EU-India Dialogue Seminar on the use of plant protection products

The “EU-India Dialogue Seminar on the use of Plant Protection Products” was held during 20-21 September 2016 at the Grand Hotel, New Delhi.

The meeting was attended by 151 participants representing all concerned government regulatory organisations, private sector, consumers associations, research institutes, private sector and representatives from some EU Member States, DG SANTE and EFSA.

Control of the registration and proper use of Plant Protection Products (PPP) is key to ensure that fruits and vegetables produced in India comply with the requirements – MRLs - of the countries where they are sold, to minimize exposure of populations to harmful residues. The setting of these MRLs being based on risk assessment processes using exposure and toxicology data, it is essential that cooperation and mutual understanding is built at international level and more practically between Indian and European scientific communities in order to set MRLs ensuring an adequate level of protection of consumers’ health in India and the EU, whilst not impeding trade. The purpose of this seminar was to create an opportunity for gathering and exchanging information on respective legislations on the control of registration and use of Plant Protection Products and to stimulate scientific and institutional cooperation between India and EU towards promoting practices giving enhanced guarantees to authorities and consumers on the safety of fruits and vegetables produced in India and the EU.

The participants were invited by the Export Inspection Council (EIC) of India who succeeded in reaching key officials from the Indian ministries and institutions responsible for the registration of pesticides, the setting up of Maximum Residue Limits (MRL) in India, as well as representatives of the Consumers, thus largely contributing to the success of this second EU-India Dialogue under CITD. The event was organised in cooperation with the government of Germany, EFSA and the EU reference Laboratory for fruits and Vegetables (EURL Almeria) who provided speakers to complete the panel of experts financed by the CITD project. EU Member States attending included: Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Netherlands, Poland, Spain and the UK.

The event was opened by r. Alok Chaturvedi, Additional Secretary, DoC & Chairman of EIC and Mr Johann Hesse, Head of Cooperation, Delegation of the EU to India. Sessions were chaired successively by M. BK Dubey (FSSAI), Mr. W. Dziworkski (DG SANTE), M. S.K Saxena (Director EIC), M. S. Pandey, Joint Secretary, Department of Commerce, Mr Anil Jauhri (CEO, NABCB) and Mr. Dr. Jose Tarazona (head pf pesticides Unit of EFSA).

The first and a half days of the dialogue seminar were dedicated to successive presentations given by EU and Indian experts on the different constituents of respective food control systems. These presentations were followed by discussion sessions during which a very active participation was observed.

Highly technical questions were raised, answered by the experts and completed by declarations from EU and Indian officials on shared visions about the rational, objective as well as enforcement means to be used for the purpose of controlling the use of pesticides. A wide range of subjects were addressed, including how Risk Assessment is being implemented in the EU, how maximum residue limits are being established and enforced in the EU and India. Specific technical details were discussed such as the development and implementation of Good Agriculture Practices and official control systems being deployed in India and the EU, with emphasis on methods of sampling and analysis. The afternoon of the second and last day was dedicated to parallel thematic dialogue sessions in which the subjects of the application of GAP, monitoring of residues, as well as risk assessment, were the central points of discussion. These sessions were essentially implemented on the mode of active debates in which the officials from India and EU openly shared their views on technical matters. They led to recommendations on matters of interest for future cooperation.

The seminar allowed experts to note that the understanding of the EU system was improving, and the Ministry of Agriculture nor the Ministry of Health which both understand better the root causes ministries see clearly the challenges resulting from lack of investment among majority of farmers (90% of farms are 2ha or smaller), limited implementation of GAP, frequent non-judicious use of pesticides, limited control over dealership of PPPs, monitoring of use with no traceability of samples etc. They also noted the need for change. Most of changes in organisational set-up in India is usually a result of stakeholder pressure. However, in agriculture the change is led by Indian export champions, grapes and mangoes being the most recent examples. The non-compliance leading to a suspension of trade with the EU for grapes in 2010 and mangoes in 2014 led to reorganisation of the industry with more vertical integration and better control of the whole chain. The development of a dedicated system for exports also, albeit slowly, raises the standards among producers for the domestic market. The pressure from key exporters also helps to coordinate the government initiatives which often function in isolation. For example, adaptation of GlobalGAP for fruit and vegetables for India was done in separation by the Ministry of Agriculture (Plant Quarantine division), Quality Council of India and Ministry of Commerce.

The overall conclusion of the event was that such event were extremely useful in initiating a dialogue which is called upon by all technical professionals engaged in the design and implementation of mechanisms aiming at controlling the use of pesticides through reasoned practices aiming at ensuring that maximum residue limits are achieved for food products sold on the Indian domestic market and exported to the EU. It was also useful in stressing again that there is a genuine interest from both sides to work on risk assessment matters and mechanisms allowing the setting of MRLs and Import tolerances which would serve the purpose of protecting consumers whilst not impeding trade.

There is a wide scope for cooperation between India and the EU on the subject of pesticides, especially on scientific front. Few subjects stood out:

  • Cooperation on risk assessment – India under leadership of FSSAI (Ministry of Health) is preparing for development of risk assessment capabilities. There is scope for actual cooperation in the short and medium term on general Risk Assessment methodologies and organisation thereof.
  • Cooperation in setting MRLs in Codex – India due to lack of capacity of performing its own risk assessments relies heavily on joint work at the international fora. India is committed to support more joint work with the EU, participating in EFSA's assessments or assisting in scientists' exchange.
  • Cooperation in laboratory activities – all Indian agencies (FSSAI, EIC, APEDA, NPPO) have recently significantly boosted their lab testing capacities. The testing capacity, even though improved, is still insufficient but most importantly does not allow to monitor and follow-up incidents of non compliance due to lack of traceability system. Nevertheless many CITD activities proved the proficiency in work in many labs throughout India, but it will still take time to impact the rest of the chain.
  • Capacity building – even though Indian stakeholders understand better the EU system, the main challenge remains the change of the Indian system domestically (GAP, etc.). Help of EU experts, study tours, access to the latest technology are highly appreciated even without additional funding from the EU side. Use of TAIEX or FPI funds will be nevertheless essential in support of Indian efforts.
  • The seminar was closed by Mr. S.K. Saxena and Mr. Mr. W. Dziworkski. Thanks were exchanged and content of debates praised before acknowledging shared interests in pursuing the dialogue towards reaching enhanced food safety for consumers of India and the EU.

    It was globally well appreciated by the key officials attending and participants in general.

    ACT 123 Training of Trainers in Food Safety Awareness

The activity has been taking place within the framework of a number of actions initiated by FSSAI in the area of public information, for the purpose of promoting better nutritional behaviour and safe food handling at the level of households, schools and the communities. Other initiatives being launched consist of “Project Clean Street Food”, “Kitchen Hygiene”, “STEM Olympiad : nurturing Young Food Scientists”, “Catch them Young : A Nutrition, Food Safety Hygiene Intervention Through NCERT”, “Framework for a Better and Healthier School”, “the CITD Training of Trainers in Food Safety Awareness Raising”, and the “E-Learning portal”. The activity supported and implement through CITD is therefore part of a comprehensive scheme addressing food safety and nutrition information raising on the street, in households and at school.

The assignment of was initiated in April 2016 with the recruitment of two senior scientists and one junior expert. A first meeting at FSSAI was held to collect information on other initiatives and to confirm the directions to be followed in this activity. During the meetings held at FSSAI on 23-24 May 2016 to coordinate the many initiatives being launched simultaneously, at national level, in regard to the information of the general public and food business operators on food safety and nutrition the CITD project was requested to modify the approach initially agreed. It was requested to restrict the scope of work to the training of master trainers and to include nutrition as one of the subjects to be covered in the curriculum. The objective is to train 300 master trainers in all India.

MODULE No.

TOPIC

SUB-TOPICS – Lessons for which technical content will be developed for the teachers and school children.

1

NEED FOR FOOD SAFETY
THE INVISIBLE WORLD OF MICROBES

Introduction to need for food safety
Malnutrition and infection
Role of schools
Mode of transmission of Food Borne Diseases
What are microbes and where are they found
Useful and harmful microbes
Basic growth requirements of microbes
The Danger Zone
How can they be controlled
The time temperature principle
Key terms

2

PERSONAL HYGIENE

Definitions of Hygiene and Health
Need for Personal hygiene
Clean body and Clothes, Toilet Practices, Brushing Practices
Hand washing
Good habits
Need for rest, relaxation and exercise.
Health check-up and de-worming

3

HYGIENIC HANDLING OF FOOD

How hygiene affects quality, safety and nutrition of the food
Contamination and Cross contamination
Food poisoning and Food infection, Food allergies
Control of Food Borne Diseases
Follow 5 Cs- Clean, Cook, Cool/Chill, Cover, Consume
Hygienic selection and storage,
Reading food labels
Common faults in food preparation and service
Street foods
Potable water

4

HYGIENE OF OUR SURROUNDINGS

Ventilation, lighting of rooms, Material used for construction of small equipment,
Cleaning procedures for equipment, food contact surfaces, rooms and surroundings,
Single service items,
Dish cloth and its use,
Significance of proper waste disposal
Pest/pet control in  Food handling and storage areas

5

INTRODUCTION TO NUTRITION

Food and its functions,
Nutrients and their functions,
RDA, Energy requirement for different activities,
Energy value of food
Food fads
Junk Food vs. Healthy Foods

6

OVERCOMING COMMON DEFICIENCY DISEASES

Nutrients and deficiency symptoms
Rich sources of nutrients
Supplementary value of proteins
Simple measures to increase the nutritive value of food
Simple measures to retain nutrients in food
Life-style related diseases

7

PLANNING WHOLESOME MEALS

Need for Balanced Diets
The food pyramid
The healthy eating plate
5 Basic Food Groups
Planning Balanced diets using the 5 Basic Food Groups
The healthy lunch box/school meal

The preparation of curriculum was completed by mid-August 2016. The contents of each module were prepared to cater to school children from the pre-primary to secondary school level. Three age groups were identified namely 4 to 7 years (Nursery to 2nd Std.), 8 to 11 years (3rd to 5th Std.) and 12 to 17 years (6th Std. Onwards). Presentations were age specific and were developed and designed with interactive sessions and multiple activities. Presentations have been designed for the master trainer as well as for the trainer. Along with this a comprehensive trainer’s manual has been also prepared to be given as a hand-out in ‘Train the Trainer’s’ programme.

The material is available at the CITD project office for review. It comprises, for each module:.

The first day of training was devoted to theoretical presentations on food hygiene (elements of GHP/GMP and HACCP) and food safety management systems assessment through the application of the comprehensive hygiene management method. The goal was also to tell to the trainees how to collect the necessary information during the factory visits in order to assess their food safety management system. The two aspects of facilitation and flexibility applied to the implementation of food safety principles have been also largely developed during the theoretical part of the training.

First field visits were organized in the morning of the second day of the session. Specific information collection tasks were assigned to each group of trainees. They related to compliance of premises with regulation and standards, cleanliness, operating of the production process, documentary tool, traceability. Groups exercises based on the information gathered in the morning were organised in the afternoon with the goal of assessing the FSMS of the visited factories. A similar programme was followed on 03 December asking the trainees to go deeper in the application of the alternative method than during the previous day in order to have a better evaluation of the FSMSs.

The last day was devoted for each group to an oral presentation of its works followed by plenary discussion. This was followed by the showing of a video film on three step inspection process and training in basic strainers skills.

  • A “trainers manual” comprising scientific information in relation to the subject, and in line with the standards and regulations of FSSAI in order to ensure consistency between law enforcement and awareness raising initiatives;
  • A powerpoint presentation summarising the main messages which will be used to train the Master Trainers as well as for children of class levels 1, 2 and 3 ; and
  • A trainers’ guidance document explaining to the trainer what message to convey, how to convey the message and a set of “activities” to be proposed to the school children for the purpose of passing the message across.

A mock training programme before launching the ‘Train the Trainers’ project, was conducted on 21st December 2016 at the FSSAI, New Delhi. The trainees were representatives from leading FBO’s, food safety auditors, academicians as well as some select Master Trainers. The number of trainers was restricted to 25. The feedback forms were collected from the trainers and on the basis of the suggestions, some value Level 1 (pre-primary: 3 to 5 years old), Level 2 (primary: 6 to 11 years old), Level 3 (12 to 18 years old).addition was made in the Modules immediately. It was then decided that the content and activities were ready to be used for conducting training programmes for Master Trainers. A creative agency is working on animations in the Modules for children to make them child-friendly.

The first Training of the Trainers Programme on ‘Food Safety and Nutrition Awareness Raising’ was held in Bengaluru at Executive Development Centre on 10th February 2017. The session was attended by 82 participants from different segments like school and college teachers, principals, food safety experts, food industry personnel etc.

The training consisted of presentations followed by group activities and discussions. The need for food safety was highlighted followed by 7 modules on the topics listed: i.) Invisible World of Microbes ii.) Personal Hygiene iii.) Hygienic Handling of Food iv.) Hygiene of Our Surroundings v.) Introduction to Nutrition vi.) Overcoming Common Deficiency Diseases and vii.) Planning Wholesome Meals

ACT 124 Development of capacities for the provision of PTs – ISO 17043 Training

This CITD project was started in the year in 2014 with the support of 5 official laboratories with the aim to establish a quality management system according to the accreditation standard ISO 17043 together with the technical requirements to establish regular PT schemes in the fields of food testing on heavy metals, aflatoxins, pesticide residues, veterinary drug residues and microbiology. The status of the five laboratories was evaluated in one expert mission (January/ February 2014) followed with a general training on the relevant standards ISO 17043 and ISO 13528 (statistics) in July/August 2015 together with a detailed activity plan with milestones for each laboratory and a common road map. The third mission in February 2016 was planned as a gap analysis where all 5 laboratories and potential PT providers were visited again by the expert. At the end of the mission a first Advisory Board meeting with the participation of all providers was held combined with the final mission meeting.

As a result of the mission the expert recommended two activities which were carried out under Act124 (AWP3) for the development of capacities for the provision of PT’s.

  • Training on the standards ISO17043, ISO22117 and ISO13528 was organised for the benefit of all selected laboratories.
  • Second advisory board meeting was conducted to assess the situation of the laboratories to comply with ISO17043 requirements and provide additional technical inputs in relation to their compliance with the requirements of the standards if required.

Training on ISO 17043, ISO22117 & ISO 13528 Requirements on Proficiency Testing

A 4 days training session was organised from 6th June 2016 - 9th June 2016 at NIPHM, Rajendra Nagar, Hyderabad-500030, Telangana. A total of 14 participants were trained from 5 potential PT providers- EIA Kolkata, EIA Chennai, PTH Mumbai, NIPHM Hyderabad and NRCG Pune.

The training course consisted of theoretical sessions as well as group exercises. Lectures presented by the expert aimed to cover ISO 17043 both the technical requirements and managerial requirements (all clauses) in detail along with all phases of Proficiency testing-Action Line: i.) Planning phase ii.) Pre testing iii.) Sample Preparation iv.) Determination of assigned values and Stability verification v.) Data treatment including calculation by statistical methods and outliers identification. vi.) Presentation of results- guidelines on proficiency testing reporting protocol and detailed step by step overview.

Participants were extremely involved during the training sessions with an average evaluation mark of 4.7/5 for the technical performance and a mark of 4.8/5 for the organisation of the event. The training mission achieved the expected results providing high level of satisfaction amongst the participants.

Discussions during second Advisory Board Meeting

On the second Advisory Board meeting on 10th June 2016 the situation of the laboratories to comply with ISO17043 requirements were discussed. The minutes of meeting were compiled by EIC and the deadlines to meet the expectations is yet to be circulated





ACT 124 Development of capacities for the provision of PTs – Microbiology – TAIEX mission 63331

Further to the first mission conducted on 30/11-04/12 2015 in Chennai (TAIEX mission ref 60731), the objective of this mission was to provide knowledge to 11 scientists belonging to the Export Inspection Council (EIC, Delhi) and the network of 4 laboratories of Export Inspection Agencies (EIA, Chennai, Mumbai, Cochin, Kolkata) on proficiency tests (PTs) in food microbiology, comprising two parts:

  • Outcome and lessons learnt of the 1st PT on Salmonella detection in cooked shrimps;
  • Preparation of another PT on enumeration of coagulase positive staphylococci (CPS) in cooked shrimps.

The training covered each step of a standard PT process, with practical sessions on preparation of samples, homogeneity and stability tests, random coding of laboratories and samples, calculation of homogeneity and stability tests, and calculation of lab performance evaluation.

The training was jointly conducted by two experts from the Laboratory for Food Safety of French Agency for Food, Environmental, Occupational Health & Safety (ANSES): Bertrand LOMBARD & Alexandra CAUQUIL. Experts were mobilised through TAIEX, under mission ref 63331.

The experts transferred to EIA-Chennai a large set of quality management documentation from ANSES Laboratory (forms, templates) as well as three Excel macro tools developed by ANSES to implement different steps of a PT organization: random sample coding, homogeneity and stability testing, assessment of PT participants’ performance. These Excel tools revealed to work correctly once transferred onto a PC of EIA-Chennai.

EIC/EIA-Chennai intends to apply shortly for ISO 17043 accreditation on PT organization. Being a complex process, compared to analyses, the experts recommended that EIA-Chennai does not apply too rapidly, taking the risk of failing. It should wait at least for the completion of its 2nd PT, if successful, if not more.

Regarding future assistance, EIA-Chennai expressed its need for an additional expert mission dedicated to the outcome and lessons learnt of the 2nd PT on CPS enumeration. In addition, during the training, participants have also expressed the need of study visits at ANSES laboratory to increase their knowledge on the specialised analysis of certain bacteria, their toxins and viruses in food.

As in the 1st session, the experts have reiterated their recommendation that EIA takes an active part in ISO standardization in the field of food microbiology, conducted by ISO/TC 34/SC 9, under French responsibility (B. Lombard chairman). Currently, India does not participate actively to these works, in particular it is not represented to annual meetings. For this purpose, B. Lombard would write to BIS (Bureau of Indian Standards).

On 13 January, the delegation of the EU to India posted a news on this event in its website: https://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/india/18554/eu-and-indian-experts-share-best-practices-testing-food-microbiology_en

ACT 124 Development of capacities for the provision of PTs – Mycotoxins – TAIEX mission 63332 The

The Mission included two experts from ISS, Rome Dr. Barbara Desantis and Dr. Patrizia Rossi, and took place from 16 to 19 November 2016 at the premises of the National Referral Laboratory (NRL) from the National Research Centre for Grapes (NRCG).

The objective of the mission was to provide technical advice to the Referral laboratory in order to prepare them to apply for accreditation as Proficiency Testing Provider (PTP) according to the ISO 17043:2010 international standard. The activities for the development of capacities to carry out proficiency testing schemes are challenging tasks which a referral laboratory wish to implement to demonstrate its competence by formal compliance with a set of internationally-acceptable requirements for the planning and implementation of proficiency testing programs.

The Indian Government (EIC and APEDA) had identified a number of laboratories as future providers of proficiency testing in different fields, the National Referral Laboratory (NRL) from the National Research Centre for Grapes (NRCG) has been appointed as the PTP for mycotoxins inter-laboratory schemes. This mission is the second step for preparing the documental framework, both managerial and technical, to be drawn for the application submission as a PTP for mycotoxins inter-laboratory schemes. This second mission was conducted during the days 16-20 November 2016, at the NRCG laboratory in Pune. During the four days 14 participants from the NRCG staff attended the training course.

All the participants were extremely involved and were highly receptive to the requirements for the achievement of the workshop outputs. The program executed focused on the ISO 17043:2010 standard, which specifies the general requirements, both on the managerial and technical, for the competence of PTP and for the development and operation of proficiency testing schemes, and on the ISO 13528:2015 standard, which provides support for the implementation of ISO/IEC 17043:2010, particularly on the requirements for the statistical design, validation of proficiency test items, review of results, and reporting summary statistics. The fruitful feedback, lively discussions and deep involvement of all participants confirmed the success of the training.

As final successful outcome of the course, will be completion and submission of the appropriate application for the accreditation as PTP to the Indian National Board of Accreditation (NBA) by the forthcoming months.

ACT 124 Development of capacities for the provision of PTs – Pesticide Residue – TAIEX mission 63333

The aim was to provide technical advice to the National Institute of Plant Health Management (NIPHM) in Hyderabad on the implementation of processes for the undertaking of proficiency testing (PT) for the detection and quantification of pesticide residues in fruits and vegetables. Apart from channelling theoretical knowledge, the five-day mission also had a clear practical goal: it was intended to offer the NIPHM laboratory training on-site about all relevant practical issues and information needed to work as PT provider according to ISO 17043 : 2010. The mission forms part of a series of 11 activities dedicated to Indian government agencies and laboratories.

Eight (8) participants from two departments belonging to NIPHM (pesticide residues, plant protection) attended the sessions. The evaluation shows that the participants were very satisfied with the expert input provided by the missions and logistical help of CITD in organising it. This is reflected by exceptionally high rating of average 5 / 5.

The experts noted that some improvements must be performed in the extraction methods, taking into account the results obtained because the expert team detected some errors consequence of a lack application of quality control procedures (e.g. internal standard). At the end of the day, the planning of the next NIPHM PTs was discussed. There are six PTs planned for 2017, two in water, three in fruits and vegetables and one in cereal divide in three delivery blocks. All of them have the same target list and are compulsory for the 26 laboratories of the Indian Network.

The technical status of the NIPHM-Hyderabad demonstrated a good capability for improving, learning and overcoming correctly all the questions made. The attitude was very positive and collaborative during all the training.

The laboratory obtained the accreditation for organising Proficiency Test in Fruits, Vegetables and Cereals for pesticide residue analysis, as well as PTs in Plant Protection Products and Heavy Metals in food under ISO/IEC 17043 with the Indian Accreditation Body in June 2016.

The discussion sessions on practical issues were very active and fruitful and potential further cooperation was commented to facilitate that the NIPHM becomes in India something similar that the EURLs in EU. This achievement will improve the quality and harmonization of the Indian food control applying well recognized and accepted international standard.

The two experts were of the opinion that, the course was a positive experience for participants, since they can see another point of view of the evaluation and different criteria followed by the EURLs for performing PTs.

The expert team could witness the improvements made by the NIPHM during the last three years, the successful implementation of the ISO 17043 and the good cooperation and transparency in exchange results and information. The also mentioned that some improvement in extraction methods and acquisition methods can be carried out by the NIPHM staff following some advices made by the experts (use of Internal Standards, addition of NaCl, improve shaking step by using automatic shakers, change the evaporation system, check the LOQ in every batch, improve the optimisation for some analytes and use of ion ratio criteria for the identification of a positive result).

Throughout the course, there was a high interactive participation and the main topics were addressed about the PT performance in terms of scope, selection of the pesticide target list, commodity selection, practical aspects for the preparation of the test item, evaluation of the results, preparation of the reports, communication with the participants, new trends in analysis, analysis of the samples, etc.

The NIPHM laboratory has the instrumentation needed for being a Proficiency Test provider by the ISO at national level. All the aspects related with the preparation of the test item and statistical evaluation are well covered by the NIPHM staff, but they should need to contact with Computer specialist to improve the way to obtain the results from the participants and not to have to introduce them manually, because it is a source of typing errors. NIPHM obtained the accreditation under ISO 17043 to be a PT provider after our last visit in 2016. They have a well-designed PT Scheme for 2017 and 2018, including six PTs in fruits and vegetables, cereal and water for pesticide residue analysis. Also, they are training once per year to the 26 laboratories belonging to the Indian network. Additionally, they have a workshop every year, which is mandatory for the network, to discuss the results obtained by the participants in their PTs and to highlight the strong and weak points of the PTs.

Having all this issues in mind, it is clear that NIPHM is playing an important role as National Reference Laboratory (NRL) in India, with an increasing number of laboratories in their network. Also, they want to expand their participating laboratories, including some requesting laboratories from Pakistan, Bhutan and Bangladesh.

During our training, the experts showed the EU model for quality assurance and their experience in different PTs (72 h reporting results, no target compound list, low MRRLs). Even though the Institute has a good knowledge following the ISO 17025 and the ISO 17043, they need to keep a continuous improvement program

The expert recommended to improve few points regarding the PT performance: Increase the scope, freeze the test material before crushing it to increase the homogeneity, include in the final report parameters, such as the uncertainty of the assigned value, and to improve the way they get the results from the participants. Regarding their analytical methods, it will be very helpful to add internal standards during the extraction step and improve the shaking step (as for example, with one automatic shaker). Furthermore, they have to increase the identification points that they are using to report a positive identification that can be done with the ion ratio of the two transitions monitored. Additionally, NIPHM has acquired new and sophisticated analytical instrumentation (GC and LC-TOF-MS). The introduction of these new technologies can be very useful as National Reference Laboratory. However, the experts were of the opinion that NIPHM may need extra training in that field.

In conclusion, the experts considered as very positive the role and the training celebrated at the NIPHM-Hyderabad. They recommend further improvement as PT provider and analytical issues such as (GC and LC-TOF-MS) towards re-enforcing its role as NRL for India.

ACT 125 Training in the audit of food safety management systems

Two training sessions (fifth and sixth in a series of six) were held under the AWP3, respectively in Hyderabad in June 2016 and in New Delhi in November 2016.

Hyderabad, 21 to 24 June 2016

A total of 26 participants of which 19 were from FSSAI and state authorities from the south region and 7 quality managers from two private industries attended the session. The. The session included theoretical classes, visit to food processing establishments, technical debriefing in group work and restitution of working groups results in plenary.

New Delhi, 08 to 11 November 2016

The session was attended by total 22 participants consisting of 16 participants from FSSAI & state FDA, 3 from EIA and 3 from private industry. The sessions were organised in the same format.

On the first day of training was devoted to theoretical presentations on food hygiene (elements of GHP/GMP and HACCP) and food safety management systems assessment through the application of the comprehensive hygiene management method. The goal was also to tell to the trainees how to collect the necessary information during the factory visits in order to assess their food safety management system. The two aspects of facilitation and flexibility applied to the implementation of food safety principles were also largely developed during the theoretical part of the training. On the second and third days of training, field visits were organized in the morning. Specific tasks of information collecting were given to each group of trainees: compliance of premises with regulation and standards, cleanliness, operating of the production process, documentary tool, traceability. Groups exercises based on this information were organized in the afternoon with the goal of assessing the FSMS of the visited factories. On the last day the first half morning was devoted for each group to an oral presentation of its works. The other groups were invited to make their own comments on these presentations. Intensive discussions took place during the presentation of groups’ works. During the second morning half a presentation on the three steps inspection was given. This presentation was then illustrated by a video film on the same topic. Before going to lunch the trainees were asked to fill an evaluation form on the training. In the afternoon a presentation on the logical organisation of the program guidelines summarising the contents of the training week was given to the participants.

These two sessions were the last of a series of six training-the-trainers sessions which will have allowed to train over 163 inspectors of FSSAI and State FDA over the first three years of operation of the CITD project.

ACT 126 Strengthening capacities in the certification of organic products - honey

Two training sessions on strengthening the capacities in the certification of Organic products-honey were conducted in New Delhi for two different groups of trainee i.e. auditors of certification bodies and members of accreditation committee respectively on 9-11 January 2017 and 10,12-13 January 2017. The specific objective of the training was to expand the capacity of organic honey certification in India by training members of accreditation committee and auditors of certification bodies in order to meet European Union standards and requirements needs.

One senior organic honey production expert and one junior expert were engaged to conduct the sessions, namely Ms Lotta Fabricius Kristiansen and Ms Kalpana Yadav. Ms Lotta Fabricius Kristiansen developed the training material with the technical editing assistance from Ms Kalpana Yadav and delivered to all the participants

Both sessions were commenced with welcome remarks by Ms Saswati Bose, Deputy General Manager, APEDA and the senior expert from CITD, explaining approaches, expectations and significance. The senior expert introduced the content of each training session to the participants. Further, the participants were requested to fill out the knowledge quiz form prepared by the expert, before the training started. The two sessions were attended by a total of 37 participants (27 in first session and 11 in second session, 1 participant from APEDA attended both sessions) representing a diverse pool of decision-makers from competent authorities(like APEDA, EIC FSSAI), governmental agencies, scientific institutions and certification bodies (like SGS, Intertek, Bureau Veritas Certification etc.). The sessions were organised as follows:

  • On the first day the opening of the training session was followed by delivery of presentations based on theoretical contents combined with the experience and knowledge of the expert, on the basis of beekeeping and honey production.

    The afternoon session was initiated by Dr A.K Yadav with detailed information about Organic Apiculture under National Program for Organic Production (NPOP) focused on honey production. It was followed by sessions EC regulations on organic production (834/2007, 889/2008 and 1235/2008) by Ms Lotta Fabricius Kristiansen. During this afternoon session of day 1, Dr. Tarun Bajaj, General Manager, APEDA briefed the participants on the importance and impact of this training on organic honey production in India.

  • On Day 2 (10 January 2017) a field visit was organised at a site for organic honey production. This visit was organised for participants of both sessions, i.e. accreditors and certification bodies. The site was selected by APEDA and site visit was conducted in the afternoon.
  • During on- site training the participants could get a comprehensive and practical knowledge about basics of organic honey production and specific requirements for organic inspection. Participants were provided a checklist to record their observations and comments.
  • On day 3 (11 January) the morning session was dedicated to a debriefing of the site visit of the previous day. The participants shared their remarks and question which were answered to by the senior expert. Further, assignments on adjustments of the Indian organic standards to meet the EU regulations and making of a checklist used for control of organic honey production according to the EU regulations were given to working groups. After lunch participants resumed their work on assignments and discussed their findings and conclusions before closure of the training.
  • Both sessions were concluded with filling up the knowledge quiz the evaluation forms, certificate distribution and closing remarks from APEDA.

ACT 127 Enhancing the National SPS information system

It was organised in the form of a 4-days workshop, of which day 1 was class room based and rest three days, the participants visited two pack houses and the Mumbai International Airport. The training program covered in particular the following topics:

The works on the mapping of the SPS information were initiated in September 2015. The Expert recommended by FSSAI and selected for the task held a preparation work session at CITD office on 08 September 2015. On this occasion the Expert and TL reviewed the current status of the Indian SPS information system taking into account the information available, confirmed the scope of the study, strategy to be implemented and methodologies to be used. Work sessions were held with EIC and FSSAI under AWP2, and progress was blocked when starting to try involve the concerned departments of the Ministry of agriculture for Plant health and animal health information. FSSAI management therefore decided to utilise the assigned resources to undertake a thorough mapping of how food safety information was being handled at FSSAI level. This task was carried-out by the Team leader, using the SADT methodology. The proposed strategy for the implementation of this study was to concentrate at first on the “macro” level, working on the flow of information at the level of each division of FSSAI.

This mapping was aimed at describing into details:

  • What “process” are they responsible for, in the framework of their mandate, as regard the handling of food safety information?
  • What incoming information they handle and what outgoing information they produce?
  • What is the origin of incoming information and what is the destination of outgoing information? and
  • What are the guiding rules for the concerned process?

During the months of October and November 2016, the Team leader spent time at FSSAI to carry-out this study and train the staff of the Authority on the structure of the EU food legislation. In this process a total of 29 officers of FSSAI were exposed to detailed explanations on the nature of the institutions involved in food safety in the EU (EFSA, Commission, Parliament, Council), the respective roles of Commission and Member States, the main instruments being mobilised (Reference Laboratories, RASFF, Crisis Management…) for the enforcement of official controls, and even on the detail content of some specific regulations such as Regulation 178/2002 food law, Reg. 882/2004 on official controls, Reg 852/2004 on hygiene of food stuffs, Reg 853/2004 on specific hygiene requirements for products of animal origin, etc.

A set of eleven (11) division maps was produced with the concerned team of FSSAI, through eleven separate work sessions of a 1-2 days duration.

Example mapping: handling of notifications.

The maps of all divisions and a summary of general finding was provided to FSSAI management 12 January 2017. This will help each division of FSSAI in identifying the “gap” in the type of information it should be managing and the format this information should have. It has also contributed to help each division in defining precisely what processes are being handled. Main points to be looked at towards improving the functioning of the services, are as follows:

  • The main challenge to be faced by the Authority is perhaps to “move” from the function of a “food standards elaborating and verification body”, to that of a “food safety control body” with legal powers and means to undertake key functions such as development of adapted legislation, audit at States’ level, steering/coordination of food safety policy at national level and monitoring of food safety situation nationwide (including on the prevalence of food hazards in the food chain).
  • Management of INFOSAN alerts could be extended to a wider role including the management of alerts on the domestic market through structuring a mechanism involving the States FDAs under the coordination of a central cell at FSSAI HQs.
  • The consultant did not have enough time to assess the respective responsibilities of the CENTRAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE and FOOD AUTHORITY, which are understood to be the two main decision bodies in FSSAI. Respective list of functions, composition… could also be analysed if appropriate to detect overlaps, etc.
  • Mechanism to develop official control functions could not be completely studied. This relates to the deployment of a risk-based inspection system on how FBO are implementing food hygiene regulations and other official control mechanisms such as domestic alert system, surveillance plans, market surveillance, food safety crisis management, etc. Import control system was described.
  • Several working groups have been mentioned during interviews: FSSAI Working Groups, FSSAI Teams, Scientific Panels (RA), Technical Panels (FSMS), Codex Shadow Committees. Is there a need to review the composition & functions of these groups, see if some could be merged, etc. with a view to search for increased cost efficiency?
  • It seems that some technical officers are involved in the handling of procurement (services) functions. Are they all trained to the application of public procurement rules? Is it the most cost efficient way of managing the procurement of services?
  • The handling of procurement of services used by the FSSAI seems to be split between different divisions. There seem to be room for improvement in this regard, making sure technical officers focus on technical tasks (writing of technical specs for services to be procured and assessment of competence of proposed suppliers) and the rest of procurement process left/controlled by public procurement specialists knowing well the public procurement rules. By having the procurement implemented by different divisions it is possible that different practices are implemented with a risk that some rules are not applied correctly and result in conflicts with suppliers of all sorts. Are rules for contracting/procuring available to all divisions undertaking such procurements? Is there an internal audit mechanism in place to verify compliance with rules?
  • General Policy/Strategy documents serving as guidance to different processes, such as those of QA (audit of state labs), or IEC (Branding of FSSAI), or Training (Capacity building) etc. could be documented in the mapping or formalised are not yet fully developed to serve to line managers implement the instructions of the CEO.
  • New missions of the Authority could probably involve, in the future, the undertaking of an AUDIT FUNCTION to monitor how bodies operating under official delegation of control tasks (external labs and inspection bodies), as well as State FDAs are effectively working according to FSS Act requirements.
  • Work is under progress to structure a comprehensive risk assessment function.

ACT 128 Designing a framework for a national food control system in India

Under this activity the Team Leader was requested by CEO of FSSAI to prepare a strategic note on how official controls (inspection and laboratories) are being regulated and implemented in the EU. The draft note was submitted to DEU on 24 November 2016 for clearance prior to being sent to FSSAI. The note is providing information on the overall structure of the food control system in the EU, main legislation framing it and how the system of inspection, and laboratories (EURL, NRL, OL) are operating. The note was transmitted to CEO FSSAI on 30 November following prior validation by DG SANTE.

This activity also involved the fielding of a Senior Food Inspection Expert in India from 16 to 20 January 2017, Dr. Geraud Laval, and former Inspection head at the French Ministry of agriculture. The purpose of the mission is to provide assistance to FSSAI in designing and deploying a Risk-Based Inspection System for India. After this first mission in India destined to give him a deep understanding of the local situation, the expert will embark on drafting of requested documentation and will come back for a second time in India to finalise. The expected output is an inspection manual for FSSAI.

ACT 131a Preparation of guides of good practices - Aquaculture

The objective of the activity jointly approved by the Government of India and the EU is to prepare a guide to serve as a basis for dissemination nation-wide of safe aquaculture practices, with a view to promote the use of sustainable aquaculture methods respecting the environment, assuring an adequate use of authorised veterinary medicinal products and ensuring that aquaculture products comply with relevant hygiene standards and requirements for contaminants and residues.

A first draft of the proposed guide of Good Aquaculture Practices was delivered to MPEDA in October 2015. Two Experts’ Consultations were planned to review the draft, amend it and produce the final draft. The purpose of the Experts’ consultation session is to finalise the guide by taking the views from various stakeholders.

First session took place on 5th and 6th July’2016 at MPEDA, Kochi. The session was attended by 12 experts from industry, EIC and MPEDA. After that the proposed changes were incorporated and sent to MPEDA on 29th July’2016; who had circulated the same to the experts as well as stakeholders for their comments that have been considered during the second consultation session on 06th and 07th September 2016 which was attended by a team of 15 experts.

Both the senior and the junior experts have been working together on the preparation of the final version of the guide on “Good Aquaculture Practices” as per the recommendations made during second consultative session, with additional inputs received from other experts/stakeholders. The final Draft Guide was submitted to MPEDA in January 2017.

The document consist of a comprehensive guide providing practical advice to aquaculture operators on site selection, design features for the ponds, pond operation management, effluent management, food safety, labour and welfare, social and environmental factors, farm hygiene management, traceability, legal requirements and annexes providing technical and regulatory references. It is available at CITD office for consultation.

ACT 131b Preparation of guides of good practices - Horticulture

Two experts were recruited by the project to develop a draft guide of Good Agriculture Practices (GAP) for horticultural crops putting emphasis on okra and curry leaves.

The senior expert Mr. Sanjay Indani was identified following the advice of the director of APEDA and the junior expert Ms. S. Datta was recruited following her sustained excellent performance under prior activities of the CITD project in 2014 and 2015. The experts initiated work in December 2015 and have produced a first draft of Okra GAP which was reviewed by the TL/KE1 and comments forwarded to the experts on 28 March 2016.

Since then the experts have been gathering additional information and revising the draft guide following the directions received. They visited okra and curry leaves production farms in Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh in the course of 2016 to collect information of agricultural itineraries/practices and discuss with farmers on technical options which could be envisaged to improve the safety of the product. The details included various aspects like soil preparation, fertilizer application, pest control practices, pesticides used, etc. These visits were requested and organised by APEDA.

Both the senior and the junior expert worked together for drafting the guide on “Good Agricultural Practices”. They also discussed that they will review existing documentation available on Good Agricultural Practices that will include international Good Agricultural Practices prepared by GLOBALGAP & national guidance documents like DOC:QCI-GAP (CD) & Requirements For Good Agricultural Practices- India GAP (IS 15930:2010) for the preparation of the guide.

Since then the experts have been gathering additional information and revising the draft guide following the directions received. The team visited to the Okra farms near Mumbai, Pune and Ahmednagar to capture the real time implementation GAP practices. The farmers, field officers and exporters were interviewed to compile the adequate requisite information on the GAP practices.

APEDA, the responsible agency for this matter was informed about the situation of limited information of GAP practices in India in Curry Leaves cultivation. Further a meeting was held with APEDA on 24 October 2016 to assess progress made and give directions for the finalisation of the guide. APEDA requested the experts to visit additional production sites in the region of Hyderabad & Andhra Pradesh apart from Maharashtra to document the section of the guide on curry leaves.

The experts were put in contact by APEDA with operators who would possibly cultivating curry leaves in an ordered manner as well as exporters, in order to be able to collect additional information and possibly draft a guide for this particular product.

A four (4) days training session was organised from 28th July 2015 -31st July 2015 at Tunga hotel, Mumbai on ISO 17043 and ISO 13528 requirements on Proficiency Testing. A total of 21 participants were trained from different segments i.e. Official labs, EIA, MPEDA and private laboratories.

The senior expert visited Curry leaves cultivation sites in Maharashtra near Pune on 13 June and captured the information on the current GAP followed in curry leaves cultivation. The details included various aspects like soil preparation, fertilizer application, pest control practices, pesticides used, etc. As decided the senior expert along with junior expert visited Anantapur, Guntur & Hyderabad districts from 28 November to 30 November. The interaction with various farmers provided sufficient inputs on the required parameters as per plan.

The GAP guide document on Okra is finalised and submitted to APEDA for the comments in Feb 2017 whereas of Curry leaves is under preparation and expected to be submitted to the review of APEDA by the first week of March 2017. The team has proposed APEDA for two consultation meetings with the stake holders for Okra & Curry leaves, one in Mumbai and another in Hyderabad. The consultations are expected to happen in March 2017 followed by which the guidance documents would be finalized and submitted to APEDA.



ACT 131c Preparation of guides of good practices - Beekeeping

For the preparation of the Guide on Good Beekeeping Practices; the Senior Expert (Ms Lotta Kristiansen) came to India from 29th August to 2nd September 2016 to understand the current status of Bee keeping in India. The first step under this activity was to consult the relevant authorities (EIC, etc.) and stakeholders to understand their requirements. This part of the work took place in New Delhi.

Afterwards, the senior expert along with the two junior experts (Ms Kalpana and Ms Datta) visited beekeeping farms (Eg Global Apiary, Malwa Bee farms etc.) and honey processors (Indocan Honey), in cooperation with EIC. This task was necessary in order to understand the current good beekeeping practices followed and compare with the international and local guidance documents. This helped correlate practices with the standard requirements.

After site visits both the senior and the junior experts worked down on drafting the content of the first version of the guide. Work is going on for the preparation of the Guide on Good Beeping Practices. The first draft was provided to EIC on 30 November 2016 for comments. A stakeholders meeting was organised at EIC in December 2016, through which comments from the operators and relevant institutions and authorities were gathered to supplement the guide.

A second mission of the senior expert was organised from 16 to 20 January 2017 in New Delhi and farms in its surroundings in order to collect additional information on the field practices. The draft was amended and discussed extensively on the occasion of a second stakeholders’ meeting held at EIC Headquarters on 18 January 2017.

The final draft was prepared taking into account the comments received at this second meeting and was submitted to EIC on 22 February 2017.

It is available at the CITD office for consultation.

ACT 132c Training of Trainers on the application of Good Aquaculture Practices

Two training of trainers sessions of three days each were organised in Vijayawada at “The Gateway Hotel”, 14th -16th February 2017 and in Kochi at “The Centre Hotel”, 20th -22nd February 2017 respectively.

The specific objective of the training was to disseminate the guide nation-wide of safe aquaculture practices, with a view to promote the use of sustainable aquaculture methods respecting the environment, assuring an adequate use of authorised veterinary medicinal products and ensuring that aquaculture products comply with relevant hygiene standards and requirements for contaminants and residues. The two sessions were attended by a total of 67 participants (36 in Vijayawada session and 31 in Kochi session)

A team of experts for carrying out for the dissemination of the guide on Good Aquaculture Practices was composed of the Senior experts Mr. Ramakrishnan Kulasekaran, Mr. Dinesan and Junior expert Ms Surbhi Datta who developed the training material and delivered to all the participants. Site visits at the Shrimp farms, in both locations to support and enhance the training exercises and experience were organised by MPEDA.

The session at Vijayawada was commenced with welcome remarks by Mr. J Sampathkumar (Joint Director, MPEDA) and at Kochi by Mr. B. Sreekumar (Secretary, MPEDA) along with the experts from CITD explaining approaches, expectations and significance of this training. At Vijayawada, on the third day during valedictory function, Dr. Rama Shankar Nayak, Commissioner of Fisheries, State Fishery Department, Andhra Pradesh also came and appreciated both CITD as well as MPEDA for taking this initiative as it is the need of the hour and at Kochi, it was commenced by Dr. Ram Mohan (Joint Director, Marketing, MPEDA).

Mr. Kulasekaran after the welcome remarks introduced the content of the training session to the participants wherein the extension officials/Regulatory Officials/Asst Directors/ Joint Directors of different organisations such as MPEDA , NaCSA and State Fisheries dept. had took part and learnt the series of practices for shrimps from selection of site, to farm development and operation including harvesting and post-harvest handling in order to produce shrimps with high quality and are safe for consumption. This training program also highlights on the responsible shrimp production with due consideration to environmental protection, social welfare and safety of operators.

The trainees went through the case analysis based on the practices taught in the training program and field visits and fully understood the methodology for further training their subordinates and farmers. This will enable Good Aquaculture Practice to penetrate to the grass root level whereby the shrimp aquaculture industry will be able to produce the shrimps in a safe sustainable manner complying with the relevant hygiene standards.





ACT 134 Training in the application of HACCP in selected food clusters

The training and technical advice provided over the past six months by the senior and junior experts in Mumbai, Lucknow, Delhi and Pune, have led to significant improvements in five of the establishments targeted. Activities will be continued at the level of these units in order to complete the implementation of Food Safety Management Systems and collect the information which is needed to prepare the manual of study cases. In two establishments work had to be discontinued due to lack of capacity and real commitment from top management.

New targets were identified in New Delhi and Lucknow during the reporting period. These two targets will allow the project to work on a key food sector for India which is mass catering. One of the targets is a small company serving school canteens in New Delhi.

The second target is a large size production unit located in Lucknow, producing up to 50,000 meals a day for the “mid-day meal” programme of the Indian government. The work of the CITD on these units will have two important outputs: i) it will improve the safety of meals prepared by these two units for the benefit of the concerned school children; and ii) it will allow the project to prepare additional study cases which are of high importance for FSSAI.

Over 250 operators have been trained in the practical application of GMP, GHP and HACCP in different food processing clusters during the concerned period of reporting. Useful data has been collected by the expert to start preparing the foreseen “manual of study cases” which is to be delivered at the end of the project to FSSAI to serve as a training tool.

Young professionals (junior experts) have been given an opportunity to acquire hands-on experience on the implementation of GHP/HACCP in food SMEs. The project has therefore contributed in a modest way in enhancing the capacity of the sector to improve its compliance with general principles of food hygiene.

The tasks implemented in the framework of this activity also include the preparation of a manual of study cases which will be delivered to FSSAI at the end of the project. These study cases contain information on the raw materials used, the processes implemented, flow diagrammes, plant layouts, etc. FSSAI will be able to use them for the implementation of its own internal training programme for inspectors, in the future, when they are not able to bring them to sites for practical exposure. With this manual, the trainers of FSSAI will have access to real cases they can use to build their own sessions with details on frequently encountered food processing systems in India. It will be an essential tool towards enhancing the capacity of FSSAI and State FDA inspectorates in the future, by allowing the trainers of FSSAI to organise exercises with data taken from situations totally relevant to the Indian context.

Food Quality and SPS, Technical Regulations and
Standardisation, and Support to Onsite Post
Clearance Audit (OSPCA) Function in Indian Customs