Srinagar: The University of Kashmir on Tuesday organised a webinar on ‘Food Safety in Disasters’. Vice-Chancellor Prof Talat Ahmad presided over the inaugural session of the day-long webinar, organised by the varsity’s Department of Food Science and Technology in collaboration with National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM), New Delhi.
In his presidential address, Prof Talat emphasised the importance of delivery of safe food and water to populations affected during disasters.
“Any lapse in ensuring the safety of food in a disaster can complicate the rescue and relief operation,” he said.
He called for community-level awareness on safe handling of foods during disasters. “Food safety is a very important public health concern during disasters where the affected populations are at the risk of contracting food-borne diseases if necessary food safety measures aren’t strictly adhered to,” Prof Talat said.
Major General M K Bindal, Executive Director NIDM stressed on the importance of preparedness for disasters with emphasis on putting in place adequate and safe food storage systems in times of disasters. He said that foods can be rendered unsafe even after delivery as the heating and refrigeration services get affected in disasters which can result in growth of spoilage and pathogenic microbes on foods.
Head Department of Food Science and Technology University of Kashmir, Prof Farooq Masoodi, underscored the aims and objectives of the webinar, which, he said, was attended by around 200 participants from different parts of the country.
The webinar was also addressed by Prof Anil Gupta from NIDM, Prof Shetty from Pondicherry University and Prof Abdul Majid Ganai from Government Medical College Baramulla