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The Success Story of the Punjab Food Authority

Pakistan is suffering from capacity crises and only a few organisations are performing. Punjab food authority is one of them.
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The Punjab food Authority has been working as a functional entity in Punjab Province across all 36 districts since July 2012. Specialized wings “Resource & Licensing”, “Technical”, and “Operations”, which are functional and working to enforce the food hygiene and quality standards as described in the Punjab Food Authority Act 2011 and the Pure Food Rules 2011, carried out through qualified teams of Food Safety Officers (FSOs’) and Assistant Food Safety Officers (AFSOs’). Food Safety teams ensure food safety. Punjab Food Authority has state-of-the-art labs working throughout the clock, which carry out the food testing for food hygiene and food adulteration under the supervision of qualified staff. The Punjab Food Authority aims to ensure the safety and quality of all food items and products. Furthermore, the organization believes “While working on scientific principles and international best practices, Punjab Food Authority aims to ensure food safety & quality in the entire food chain in collaboration with manufacturers, Food Business Operators, consumers, government departments, autonomous bodies and other stakeholders.”

The Punjab Food Authority Act, 2011 entrusts the following functions and responsibilities to the Punjab Food Authority:

  1. Punjab Food Authority regulates and monitors the food business to ensure compliance by farmers, manufacturers, distributors, importers and other stakeholders in order to provide safe food.
  2. Formulate standards, procedures, processes and guidelines concerning any aspect of food, including food business, food labelling, and food additive, and specify appropriate enforcement systems.
  3. Enforcement of food safety and quality standards.
  4. Specify procedures and guidelines for setting up and up-gradation of food laboratories.
  5. Specify licensing, prohibition orders, recall procedures, improvement notices and prosecution in the court of law.
  6. Provides scientific advice and technical support to the Government in matters relating to food safety.
  7. Establishment of food laboratories.
  8. Organize training programmes in food safety and standards.
  9. Promote general awareness regarding food safety and standards.
  10. Certify food products/items for export.
  11. Forward and backward traceability of food items.
  12. Surveillance includes collecting, integrating, analyzing, interpreting and disseminating food and nutrient intake data.

According to Punjab Food Authority, it invests appropriate funds to crack these challenges through collaboration with our board members and partners, including academic and scientific professionals.

Punjab Food Authority is continually collaborating with its partners to help the province of Punjab to attain more competency & efficiency to enhance the safety of food and its supply chain.

Punjab Food Authority also focuses on educating its future food safety officers into a skilled force by providing food safety training locally and abroad.

The provision of healthy and nutritious food is the obligation of food chain businesses across the world. However, Pakistan’s scenario had been unfavourable due to the non-existent administrative units and allied coded law. Incorporating the Punjab food authority alongside The Punjab Food Authority Act 2011 has filled the administrative and legal vacuum. Thus, an institute with legal competence is now available to ensure food standards in the food business. Since its inception, the food authority has played a central role in creating awareness among the people for healthy and hygienic food. It has also established administrative writ on the food chain businesses in Punjab inevitable for implementing food laws and regulations.

The partial success of the food authority is due to the functional human resource of the institution. It is one of few organizations in Punjab which is functional despite administrative and financial challenges.

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