March 22, 2019
Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has approved 13 food testing laboratories including five private facilities as National Reference Laboratory (NRL) under Food Safety and Standards (Recognition and Notification of Laboratories) Regulations, 2018 for specific areas.
FSSAI will provide an annual grant to each NRL as approved by the Authority from time to time. NRL covers states like Kerala, Punjab, Pune, Uttar Pradesh, Hyderabad and Kolkata. FSSAl may also consider partially supporting organizing of annual events by NRLs on prior request by concerned NRL.
This grant shall be used for expenditure towards manpower, method development/ validation, training and research activities, sourcing of certified reference materials and proficiency testing/ inter- laboratory comparison, according to the notification.
Any additional expenditure incurred towards method development, training, PT exercise at the request of FSSAI shall be provided at actuals.
The Handbook of Guidelines for National Reference Laboratory and MoU will be shared shortly by FSSAI.
The notification said that the recognition of NRL shall come into effect only after receipt of MoU duly NRL and its acceptance by FSSAI.
Under the Food Safety and Standards the food authority may recognize any notified food laboratory or referral food laboratory, as a reference laboratory for the purpose of developing methods of testing, validation, proficiency testing and training.
The reference laboratory shall be a resource centre for provision of information for certified reference materials and reference materials, develop standards for routine testing procedures and reliable testing methods, provide technical support in the area of competence, evaluate the performance of other notified laboratories, coordinate exchange of information amongst notified food laboratories and collaborate for data generation among the network of notified food laboratories and referral food laboratories and collate the data related to their specific domain.