Food safety standards also for Sri Lanka’s toddy drink
Today is World Food Safety Day, an observance meant to highlight the need to ensure food safety standards. For this occasion, Sri Lankan authorities announced that they are working on standards for the popular but hitherto unregulated drink made from coconut flowers.
Colombo (Asia News) – "Food standards save lives” is the theme of the fifth World Food Safety Day, which is marked today around the world.
The aim is to recognise the importance of standards to keep consumers safe and protect them at the various stages of the food trade.
Standards show food products’ origin, composition, appearance, freshness, permissible additives, maximum bacterial content, as well as information on hygienic handling.
To mark the occasion, Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Health sponsored a conference held yesterday on the subject, which provided an opportunity to take stock of food safety in the country.
During this meeting, it was reported that no standards exist for toddy, a low-alcoholic drink made from the sap of coconut flowers that is very popular in Sri Lanka.
Food safety in the island nation is regulated by a law of 1980, and standards set by the Sri Lanka Standard Institute (SLSI).
For SLSI Assistant Director (Technology) Thilini Kalugala, technology and testing facilities to set standards in Sri Lanka are far below those in other countries.
However, in order to reassure the public, she explained that every year, toddy samples are collected from different parts of the island and tested to set standards that ensure consumers’ safety.