QUETTA: In the wake of the Karachi incident in which five members of a family from Quetta died after consuming ‘toxic food’, Chief Minister Jam Kamal ordered to immediately functionalise the Balochistan Food Authority (BFA) in order to take strict action against elements selling substandard food.
As per the orders issued under the Food Authority Act, 2014, CM Kamal will be the BFA chairman and concerned authorities have been directed to launch a crackdown against businesses selling unhygienic food, according to an official handout on Saturday.
Members of provincial assembly Yar Muhammad Rind, Jan Muhammad Jamali, Asghar Khan Achakzai, secretaries for food, health, Public Health Engineering, industries, livestock, local government, agriculture; director general for food; Quetta Chamber of Commerce and Industry president, members of local trade and hotels’ community have been included in the provincial authority.
On Friday, five children of a family died in Karachi after allegedly consuming toxic food, prompting authorities to seal a branch of a popular biryani chain for investigation.
In October, Balochistan Secretary for Food Asghar Harifal sent the proposal to the provincial government for establishment of the Balochistan Food Authority (BFA) to regulate and monitor food business in the province for provision of hygienic food items to the people.
He said the proposal also contains the appointment of a director general (DG) to head the Balochistan Food Authority for food safety and quality control.
He also said with the appointment of a DG, the authority will be able to check and monitor all the packed and unpacked food items as well as restaurants’ food standard.
Harifal said that the authority would be mandated to formulate standards, procedures and guidelines in relation to any aspect of food, including food business, food labelling and food additives, to specify appropriate enforcement systems.
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The secretary said, “After the appointment of DG, the government has planned to endorse proper food laboratories enabled with methods of sampling, analysis of samples and report formation of results to take specific measures to curtail adulteration in food all over Balochistan with its headquarters in Quetta.”
He said it will specify licensing of the food outlets and prohibition orders, recall procedures, improve notices and prosecutions and will provide technical support by the government in matters related to food.