The government will further strengthen food safety in the country by introducing standards regulations to bring quality of Indian food items at par with international quality levels, a senior official said Friday."The new norms and the policies for standardisation are in place and we have consulted all stake holders in that. The new norms will harmonise the Indian and international standard," K. Chandramouli, chairperson, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) told IANS on the sidelines of the annual Indian Beverage Association (IBA) meet held here."This (process) will be run in consultation with all the stakeholders, including experts. This will strengthen the food safety measures we are taking," Chandramouli said in his address.The FSSAI is expected to notify the standard norms by next week, and will be available on its website. The norms will be implemented in phases.On its part the IBA's president S.R. Goenka said that food safety is critical for the growth of the non-alcoholic beverage industry and that all stake holders should put forth their views."As safety is critical to the growth of the beverage industry, we have brought key stakeholders on a common platform to address the issues of safety, standards and quality and discuss potential solutions to promote growth in the sector," Goenka said.The non-alcoholic beverage industry players also felt that research and development (R&D) is key to suit the local palates and increase low per-capita consumption of packaged beverages.The association was formed to act as an interface between industry, government and the public, besides providing a unified and focused viewpoint on legislative and regulatory matters.The association also comprises leading beverage makers like Del Monte, Red Bull India, Coca-Cola India, Pepsico India, Dabur, Cadbury, Reliance Industries and Parle Agro.
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