Pawan Agarwal, chief executive of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India, said the initiative was particularly for small food companies that are not even aware of measures that can be taken to improve the safety of their products.
"So, we have taken up a massive programme for training and capacity building in food businesses. Once that happens, the standards of food safety will improve,” he said.
The initiative follows a ruling that at least one member of staff at every food business must have received certified training in food safety from the FSSAI, to assume the role of safety supervisor.
Medium and large businesses are being targeted in a first phase of the training programme, followed by smaller ones, Agarwal said.
Courses have been developed for 19 different business categories, each one lasting between one and three days. The goal is to bring the entire country up to a uniform level of food safety compliance.
"Different states are in different stages of evolution. In some states, it is very good. In some states, there is a gap. We are trying to work with all the states so that we can improve the quality of compliance by the food businesses," Agarwal said.