Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has suggested the businessmen not to adulterate food items to make a quick buck.
Joining a programme marking the National Food Safety Day Thursday, the prime minister said if awareness campaigns fail to correct the unscrupulous businessmen, then they would be dealt with an iron fist.
"To make a fast buck, traders reuse stale and rotten foods and adulterate those by mixing chemicals. We need to build awareness in this regard," Hasina told the programme at InterContinental Dhaka.
This year, the day was observed with the theme "Tekshoi Unnayan – Samriddho Desh, Nirapod Khadyer Bangladesh".
Referring to the businessmen, the PM said, "Well, charge the customers what you have spent to prepare it. But do not harm people by adulterating the dishes."
She said the awareness campaign for safe foods and drives against adulteration would continue simultaneously.
Highlighting the importance of a balanced diet, she said people's purchasing capacity has increased. "We need to ramp up the awareness campaigns on a balanced diet to let the people know what they should eat to lead a healthy life."
Emphasising boosting food production, Sheikh Hasina said, "Even if you have a tiny plot, cultivate what you need for your household. Thus the food shortage will decrease. We do not want to depend on others for food. We will produce what we need, and we will live with our heads held high."
Mentioning food testing labs will be set up in every district besides the central laboratory, the prime minister said, "We are building 100 economic zones across the country. Many will process and export food items there. And for this, they will need certification. That is why each division needs at least one lab."
The prime minister appreciated introducing grading for restaurants. She said the government is ready to spend on arrangements to ensure food safety.
Speaking on the occasion, Food Minister Sadhan Chandra Majumder said ensuring food safety in Bangladesh is quite complicated. The food ministry or the Bangladesh Food Safety Authority alone cannot guarantee safe food.
"Public and private ventures will have to step forward. Unless the joint effort, it will be tough to ensure safe food."
The food minister also said, due to the government's sincerity, the Food Safety Act 2013 was enacted, and the Bangladesh Food Safety Authority was formed in 2015.
"The way we are moving forward, I hope people of our country will be able to enjoy the benefits of safe foods soon like the developed countries," added the food minister.
Agriculture Minister Muhammad Abdur Razzaque said we need safe food now as there is no food shortage.
"If food safety is not ensured, medical costs, as well as poverty, may go up. Oppositely, if we can ensure food safety, the country will be benefited by food exports," he noted.