Monday, 16 October 2006

Andhra Pradesh lags behind in "food scores", says NIN

Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, Oct 16: Andhra Pradesh has put up a poor show on the "food scores" among the four Southern States but performed well when it came to "drug scores".
Food and drug scores have been arrived at by the city-based National Institute of Nutrition to gauge the level of awareness, practices and enabling assets among Indians on food and drugs respectively. On a scale of 100 points, Andhra Pradesh has scored 38 points on food safety and 13 points on drug awareness. The national average for food safety awareness is 36, which means that though Andhra Pradesh is backward among Southern States, it is two points higher than the national average.
Kerala stands first with 49.1 on food scores, followed by Tamil Nadu with 41.4 points and Karnataka with 38.9 points. The drug scores average for south India was 12.4 while that of Andhra Pradesh was 13.
Union Minister of State for Health Panabaka Lakshmi on Monday released the data a nation-wide household survey on food safety and quality control of drugs. The study was sponsored by the World Bank and conducted by the National Institute of Nutrition. The survey covered 82 districts spread over 28 States.
From the food safety scores, it is striking that all the States in the East zone performed poorly on food safety scores in all the aspects like awareness, knowledge and practice closely followed by West as compared to other three regions. Unlike in East, where all of the States are uniformly poor, in the case of West, Goa is far better than the other States. Even the progressive States of Maharashtra and Gujarat have not enhanced the food safety provisions, Kalpagam Polasa, head of the food and drug toxicology research centre, NIN.
NIN Director B Sesikeran said the results indicate that Indians most cook food twice a day (78 per cent) using solid fuels (about 76 per cent) in a common place (31 per cent) or specific veranda (28 per cent) and serve hot food (54.3 per cent).
As against the common belief that India is predominantly vegetarian, 64.1 per cent families consume non-vegetarian foods with the highest reported in Southern States (92.2 per cent) and the least in north (40.4 per cent). A majority of families stated that leftover non-vegetarian food is stored at room temperature (51.2 per cent).
Spoilage of food is usually determined by smell (48.7 per cent) and rarely by appearance (18.4 per cent) and taste (about 10 per cent) or all three (22.2 per cent).

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