Are you sceptical, or concerned, oftentimes about whether the food items you are buying for your family are safe at all?
Here comes a solution to your worries. A mobile laboratory is beginning field level drives in the city from Tuesday to test on the spot whether the products consumers are buying from the market are adulterated.
Within only one or two minutes, the laboratory will show results about the quality of the products although some tests may take as long as one hour.
Officials of the of Bangladesh Food Safety Authority said the mobile laboratory will serve as a warning for traders who adulterate food intentionally.
The common people also have a distrust on food tests by the regulatory agency, but the mobile laboratory, which will move from market to market, will help the consumers have a clear idea about what they are eating.
They also said many tests, including toxic chemicals, heavy metals, insecticides at harmful level, antibiotic residue, E-coli, salmonella, formaldehyde, formalin and carbide, will be performed straightway.
AKM Nurul Afsar, the national team leader of Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations, said the presence of formalin and carbide in fish, meat and fruits can be tested instantly now. The lab test will also reveal if any food product contains heavy metal.
Nurul Afsar, who worked on safe food, also said people tend to disbelieve the result of a test which takes around a month to complete. "The lab with ultra-modern technology will now come directly to the market, collect samples and test those."
The mobile lab will be inaugurated at a city hotel on Tuesday. It will start functioning from then on. The lab has been built under a FAO project.
FAO has trained up an official of the Bangladesh Food Safety Authority by a foreign trainer to oversee the lab's technical aspects and conduct the tests.
However, Bangladesh's food safety regulator will have to train up efficient persons in the future as it has a plan to run such labs in the divisional headquarters.
When asked, the national agency's Chairman Syeda Sarwar Jahan said, "We have manpower crisis. We may run into problems if we depend on only one skilled official. So, we have a plan to create more efficient officials to run such labs."
Primarily, only one official will work in the lab although three officials can work there at a time.
According to the national food safety regulator, a monitor has been set up in the lab where various educational and awareness building videos will be displayed to create awareness among both sellers and buyers.
The Bangladesh Food Safety Authority began its journey in February 2015 with a slogan of establishing consumers' right to safe food but it could not set up its own laboratory in the last five years.