IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


3rd November, 2023 Health


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Picture Courtesy: www.thehitavada.com

Context: The State Food Safety Index (SFSI) published by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) assesses the food safety standards and practices in different states of India.

State Food Safety Index

  • The State Food Safety Index (SFSI) is an annual evaluation initiated by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).
  • It was first introduced by FSSAI in the year 2018-19.

Objective of SFSI

  • SFSI serves as a dynamic quantitative and qualitative benchmarking model, providing an objective framework for evaluating food safety across all States/Union Territories (UTs).
  • It encourages states and UTs to improve their performance and establish strong food safety systems within their jurisdictions.

SFSI evaluates states' performance on following parameters

Food Testing Infrastructure

Parameter Weightage (2023): 17% (20% in previous years)

The average score for this parameter decreased from 13 out of 20 in 2019 to 7 out of 17 in 2023.

Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, and Gujarat experienced significant drops in their scores, indicating a decline in the availability of adequate testing infrastructure with trained personnel for testing food samples.

Kerala and Gujarat were the best performers in 2023, both scoring 13.5 out of 17. This suggests that while some states declined, others maintained relatively stable performance in this area.


Parameter Weightage (2023): 28% (30% in previous years)

The average compliance score for all large states decreased from 16 out of 30 in 2019 to 11 out of 28 in 2023.

States like Jharkhand, Bihar, and Gujarat experienced notable declines in compliance-related tasks such as licensing, inspections, and special drives.

Punjab and Himachal Pradesh emerged as the top performers, showcasing the highest compliance scores in 2023.

Bihar's compliance score dropped significantly from 20 out of 30 in 2019 to 8 out of 28 in 2023, indicating a substantial decline in compliance activities.

Consumer Empowerment

Parameter Weightage (2023): 19% (20% in previous years)

The average score in this parameter remained relatively stable, showing a minor increase from 7.6 out of 20 in 2019 to 8 out of 19 in 2023.

Bihar's score dropped significantly, while Tamil Nadu emerged as the top performer with 17 out of 19, indicating a strong focus on consumer empowerment initiatives.

Human Resources and Institutional Data

Parameter Weightage (2023): 18% (20% in previous years)

The average score for this parameter dropped from 11 out of 20 in 2019 to 7 out of 18 in 2023, indicating a decline in the availability of human resources, including Food Safety Officers and Designated Officers.

Even states that performed well in 2019, such as Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh, experienced significant declines in their scores, highlighting challenges in maintaining a skilled workforce.

Training and Capacity Building

Parameter Weightage (2023): 8% (10% in previous years)

Improvement: There was a slight improvement in this parameter, with the average score increasing from 3.5 out of 10 in 2019 to 5 out of 8 in 2023. This suggests enhanced efforts in training and capacity-building initiatives.

Improvement in SFSI Rank

Parameter Weightage (2023): 10%

14 out of 20 large states received 0 points in this category, indicating minimal improvement in their ranks from the previous year. This suggests that most states struggled to demonstrate significant progress in comparison to their previous rankings.


  • The FSSAI index data reveals a concerning trend of declining food safety standards across multiple states in India.
  • Factors such as inadequate food testing infrastructure, reduced compliance activities, challenges in human resources availability, and limited consumer empowerment efforts pose significant challenges to ensuring food safety.
  • While there were slight improvements in training and capacity-building initiatives, the overall decline in key parameters underscores the urgent need for comprehensive reforms and focused interventions to enhance food safety measures in the assessed states.

Must Read Articles:

State Food Safety Index: https://www.iasgyan.in/daily-current-affairs/state-food-safety-index-24

FSSAI: https://www.iasgyan.in/daily-current-affairs/fssai

Food Safety and Standards (Advertisements & Claims) Regulations, 2018: https://www.iasgyan.in/daily-current-affairs/food-safety-and-standards-advertisements-claims-regulations-2018

World Food Safety Day: https://www.iasgyan.in/daily-current-affairs/world-food-safety-day


Q. What measures and regulations are in place to ensure food safety in India, and what challenges does the country face in maintaining a high standard of food safety for its diverse population?