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PM directs Mayor to establish food authority in Islamabad

PM directs Mayor to establish food authority in Islamabad

ISLAMABAD, 07 APR (DNA) – Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has directed Mayor of Islamabad and Chairman Capital Development Authority (CDA) Sheikh Ansar Aziz to establish a food authority in Islamabad.

The Mayor said this on Friday at the launch of Pilot Street Food Safety Programme (PSFSP) for Islamabad at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) premises in Islamabad.

Ansar Seikh, welcoming the collaboration with FAO to launch PSFSP, said that in Pakistan 300,000 children under the age of 5 die every year from diarrhoea resulting from unhygienic conditions including food contamination which was a matter of great concern. He pointed out that there was an urgent need to control the situation.

To mark the launch, an inception workshop was held at FAO Representation premises in Islamabad with the collaboration of FAO of the United Nations and the CDA.

This workshop was organized to bring all stakeholders on board to help identify ways to work together to develop a locally tailored food safety policy, its implementation and adopting food safety measures.

Patrick T. Evans, FAO Representative in Islamabad stressed that, “Combined efforts are required to make street food a safe option for consumers.”

He also said, “We have to work together to make needs assessment, raise awareness, build capacity and effectively monitor in order to improve livelihoods of those involved in the street food business.

Participants from the health and education sector highlighted that with growing trade, industrialization, urbanization and economic prosperity eating behaviours and lifestyles have changed from cooking and eating at home to frequent dining out.

Majority of the vendors are ignorant of personal and food hygiene and use substandard food additives (colors, flavorings etc.), adulterants and contaminants, result in serious threat to human health. Food associated diseases are a source of  substantial burden on households, hospitals and medical providers compromise the work efficiency of the population and consequently causes huge economic losses to the country.

Yousaf Zafar, Chairman Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC), Director General National Agriculture Research Center (NARC), Dr. Azeem Khan and Dr Hasan Orooj, Director General Health, Metropolitan Corporation of Islamabad were also present at the inception workshop. DNA

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