State Food Safety Index: Assessing Food Safety Standards in India

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November 3, 2023

State Food Safety Index: Assessing Food Safety Standards in India

Recently, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI)  published the State Food Safety Index.


  • The State Food Safety Index (SFSI) is an annual evaluation conducted by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) since its inception in 2018-19. The primary aim of this initiative is to bring about a competitive and positive transformation in the food safety landscape of the country. By assessing the performance of states and union territories (UTs) across various parameters, the index strives to ensure the provision of safe and nutritious food to citizens.

Parameters of Evaluation

The SFSI evaluates states and UTs based on five crucial parameters:

  • Human Resources and Institutional Data
  • Compliance
  • Food Testing
  • Infrastructure and Surveillance

Training and Capacity Building

  • In the 2023 index, an additional parameter, namely, ‘Improvement in SFSI Rank’, was introduced, enhancing the comprehensiveness of the assessment.

Dynamic Benchmarking Model

  • The SFSI employs a dynamic quantitative and qualitative benchmarking model, offering an objective framework for gauging food safety standards across all States and UTs. Furthermore, to facilitate a more nuanced evaluation, the regions are categorized into three groups: large states, small states, and UTs.

Key Findings

  • After factoring in the new parameter integrated into the 2023 index, a noteworthy observation emerged. Out of the 20 states under scrutiny, 15 exhibited lower scores in 2023 compared to 2019. Among these, Maharashtra, Bihar, and Gujarat experienced the most significant declines in their scores over the five-year period.
  • A critical aspect that demands attention is the substantial drop observed in the ‘Food Testing Infrastructure’ parameter. States such as Maharashtra, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh all registered lower scores in this category. Additionally, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, and Jharkhand showed diminished performance in the ‘Compliance’ parameter.
  • Interestingly, the parameter ‘Human Resources and Institutional Data’, which garnered the third highest weightage of 18 percent in 2023 (compared to 20 percent in previous years), played a pivotal role in the evaluation.
  • Remarkably, the ‘Training and Capacity Building’ parameter, despite receiving the least weightage of 8 percent in 2023 (as opposed to 10 percent in previous years), demonstrated significant improvement.


  • The State Food Safety Index serves as a vital instrument in assessing and elevating food safety standards across India. By meticulously evaluating states and UTs on various parameters, it strives to ensure the availability of safe and nutritious food to all citizens. The 2023 index, with the inclusion of a new parameter, offers a more comprehensive perspective on the progress and challenges in the food safety ecosystem. It is imperative that states focus on areas of decline, particularly in ‘Food Testing Infrastructure’ and ‘Compliance’, to bolster overall food safety standards in the country.

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State Food Safety Index: Assessing Food Safety Standards in India | Vaid ICS Institute