Food Safety

Food Safety

In Bangladesh, the food safety and quality control framework consists of Laws, Regulations & Standards, Administration & Inspection and Laboratory analytical services. Agriculture is the largest sector in Bangladesh economy. Its combine’s contribution (crops, forestry, fisheries, livestock etc.) to the country’s GDP and employment is more than one third and two third respectively. The food laws and regulations reflect this although major weaknesses within the legal framework still exist.

Bangladesh is yet to develop a unified Food Safety Administration System and to formulate a Food Safety Policy. But it has a National Food and Nutrition Policy where attention has been given on food safety. There are significant activities in food safety and quality control are going on in the country. A number of Ministries, Departments and Agencies are involved in these activities with a major responsibility of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW) which has a unique infrastructure to deliver its services throughout the country.


  1. The Bangladesh Pure Food Ordinance, 1959: This is an ordinance to provide better control of the manufacture and sale of food for human consumption. Now, this Ordinance is under revision as ‘The Bangladesh Pure Food (Amendment) Act, 2004.Under this Act, it has been proposed to constitute a National Food Safety Council ‘headed by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare as well as to establish Food Courts.
  1. The Bangladesh Pure Food Rules, 1967:.In this Rule, there are generic standards for 107 food products. Now, this ‘Rules’ is under revision.
  1. The Food Grain Supply Ordinance, 1956 (Ord. xxvi of 1979): This ordinance provides special measures for prevention of prejudicial activity relating to the storage, movement, transhipment, supply and distribution of food grains. It provides basis for the protection of false statement or information.
  1. The Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution Ordinance, 1985: This ordinance is to establish an Institution for standardization, testing, metrology, quality control, grading and marking of goods. Within the framework of this ordinance, Government has established the Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (BSTI).One import task is to certify the quality of commodities, materials, whether for local consumption, export and import. The Ordinance has been amended as The Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (Amendment) Act, 2003. Currently, BSTI is developing a ‘Policy on Labelling’. BSTI is the Codex Focal Point for Bangladesh.
  1. The Radiation Protection Act, 1987: Under this Act, the Institute of Food and Radiation Biology (IFRB) of Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission is primarily involved in food irradiation research and development in the country.
  1. The Iodine Deficiency Disorders Prevention Act, 1989: The Government has enacted “The Iodine Deficiency Disorders Prevention Act, 1989 for universal salt iodisation & banned non-iodised salt from market, aimed at virtual elimination of IDD from the country.
  1. The Essential Commodity Act, 1990: The purpose of administering this act is to stable, maintain or increase supply of essential commodities including foodstuffs. The mandate of Essential Commodity Act also includes broad spectrum of broad spectrum of activities like storage, transport, distribution, disposal, acquisition, use or consumption of any essential commodity.
  1. Fish and Fish product (Inspection and Quality Control) Rules, 1997: This section of the Fish and Fish products (Inspection and Control) Ordinance 1983 (Ord xx of 1983) and in conjunction with fish and fish products Inspection and Quality Rules 1989, and other related provisions made there under, the Government has made the Rules: Fish and Fish product (Inspection and Quality Control) Rules, 1997. These Rules are basically meant to develop quality improvement to promote export of trade. The quality control of fish and fish products in the country has earned reputation of the importing countries.
  1. Seeds Rules, 1998: The Seeds Rules provides for the institution of the National Seeds Board, its function and tasks and all the related procedures dealing with: the registration of seed varieties; the Seeds Dealers; the classification of seeds and their sources; the procedures for certification and related fees; the contents of labels on seeds packages and containers; the qualifications and duties of Seed Analysts and Seed Inspectors; the requirements in terms of sampling, packaging and sealing for the Seed Analyst to investigate; all the required paper works (forms, reports, applications).
  1. Protection and Conservation of Fish Rules, 1985
  1. The Marine Fisheries Rules, 1983: Rules pertaining to fishing, licences for domestic and foreign fishing vessels, fishing operations and related activities.
  • The Agriculture Produce Markets Regulations Act, 1964:  This Act empowers the Government to declare any market to be a notified market and establishes the figure of the market functionary, as an intermediary between the producer and the seller.
  1. Other Laws and Regulations: In addition, a number of other Laws and Regulations are existed in the country to ensure the safe and quality food viz. The Animal Slaughter (Restriction) and Meat Control (Amendment) Ordinance,1983 (it is under revision);The Pesticide Ordinance,1971 & the Pesticides Rules,1985;Destructive Insects and Pests Rules (Plant Quarantine),1966,amended up to 1989;Procuremnet Specifications, Ministry of Food, Rice Mill Control Order etc.


There are also a number of policies i.e. Bangladesh Food and Nutrition Policy, 1997 and National Plan of Action on Nutrition, National Agricultural Policy, 1999; Integrated Pest Management Policy, 2002 etc are linked with the country’s food safety and quality control.


The following Ministries, Departments, Agencies are directly or indirectly responsible for food safety in Bangladesh-

  1. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW): As per the Bangladesh Pure Food Ordinance, 1959 and the Bangladesh Pure Food Rules, 1967, the MOHFW having the major responsibility for the enforcement of food control legislation to ensure safe food. Under the MOHFW, there is one Sanitary Inspector responsible for monitoring of food quality and safety situation including collection of food samples.
  1. Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Co-operatives (MOLGRD): MOLGRD is responsible for the food safety and quality of food in City corporations and Municipalities. Sanitary Inspectors are employed for inspection of food manufacturing/processing and selling premises as well as to collect food samples.
  1. Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs: On the basis of the Certificate of Tested Food samples, prosecution is done under "The Pure Food Ordinance, 1959" conducted by this Ministry. Besides, this Ministry having the responsibility for revision of existing rules/ordinance or to formulate, vetting and Parliamentary approval etc. for new ordinance or rules, as per request of or recommendation from the concerned sectors etc.
  1. Ministry of Food and Disaster Management: Directorate General of Food having Food Inspectors at the Upazila and District level and usually deal with the Food security aspects. Besides, they are also responsible for quality of imported and locally procured food grains and other food items including sugar, edible oil etc. as well as responsible for the quality of the storage food grains etc.
  1. Ministry of Industry: Ministry of Industry is responsible for the Standardisation, Certification Marks and Monitoring quality control of food items through its BSTI. Inspectors (Field Officers) check trade license, label and quality of food by collecting samples. Recently, BSTI formed a committee for the establishment of a national accreditation body in Bangladesh.
  1. Ministry of Agriculture: Ministry of Agriculture is also involved in maintaining safety and quality of food through good agricultural practices like optimum use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, preservation and supply of seeds. Approval of pesticides is a responsibility of this Ministry.
  1. Ministry of Environment and Forest: Ministry of Environment and Forest is also involved in food safety. Presently, the Department of Environment of the ministry along with the Department of Agricultural Extension and Bangladesh Power Development Board is implementing a project on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPS) under Stockholm Convention aimed to protect human health and environment.
  1. Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock: Of this Ministry, the Department of Fisheries is responsible for prevention and control of diseases in fishes & aquatic animals and safety and quality of fish and aquaculture products. The seafood quality and safety programme is based on Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and sanitation Standard Operating Procedures (SSOP) and HACCP principles. Fish Inspection and Quality Control (FIQC) wing mandatorily introduced and implemented HACCP in Fish processing industries. The FIQC carry out regular inspection of hygiene (raw materials handling, process operations, plant hygiene) and sanitation of plant premises, verify HACCP related documents and records to satisfy the Codex guidelines and directives of EU & USFDA. The Directorate of Livestock is responsible for animal health and quality and safety of product of animal origin.
  1. In addition, the Ministries like Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Science and Technology, Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Defence are also responsible for food safety and quality control.



Key areas of responsibility

1. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW)

Insitute of Public Health

Some 5000 food samples
are tested here annually, sent by the Sanitary Inspectors from different Upazilas and Municipalities.

Institute of Public Health Nutrition

deals with the monitoring of the
quality of Iodised salt and others

2. Ministry of Industries

Bangladesh Standard Testing Institution (BSTI)

Plays an Important role in developing and promoting standardization, metrology, testing and quality control in the industrial spheres

3. Ministry of Food and Disaster Management

Food Testing Laboratory, Directorate of Food


4. Ministry of Science and Information & Communication Technology.

Bangladesh Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (BCSIR)


5. Ministry of Agriculture

Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute

Conducting research on a large number of crops and carries out research on non-commodity areas, such as soil and crop management, disease and insect management, irrigation and water management, development of farm machinery, improvement of cropping and farming system management, post-harvest handling and processing, and socio-economic studies related to production, marketing, and consumption.

Laboratory of Plant Protection Wing of Department of Agriculture

Lab tests both imported and exported vegetables and fruits.

6. Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock

Bangladesh Fisheries Research Institute

The institute is playing a key role in assisting the nation to achieve the goal of fisheries development as set out in successive development plans

Bangladesh Fisheries Development Corporation

Functions of BFDC include, inter alia, the establishment of units for fishing and for the preservation, processing, distribution and marketing of fish and fishery products.

Department of Livestock

Spearheads the government's development in the livestock sector of Bangladesh and it plays a pivotal role in the rural socio economic system as maximum households directly involved in livestock.

7. Ministry of Education

Institute of Nutrition and Food Science, University of Dhaka


8. Ministry Environment and Forests

Directorate of Environment

Implementing a project on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPS) under Stockholm Convention aimed to protect human health and environment.


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