KOCHI:Following the increase in number of complaints against hotels supplying unhygienic food, the Kochi Corporation Health department, in 2012 had come up with a plan to launch a grading system for the hotels and restaurants in the city. However, the plan did not materialise.
As per the plan, a grading system was to be launched to ensure the supply of quality food in a hygienic environment by the restaurants in Kochi. The Corporation got the idea of grading system from foreign cities like Dubai, where hotels are graded based on the food safety standards.
“The plan was to rate restaurants and categories them into Grades A, B, and C. The criteria for grading included quality of food served, hygiene condition of the kitchen and premises, purity of drinking water, purity of water used for cooking and efficiency in customer service,” said Kochi Corporation health Standing committee chairman T K Ashraf.
He said that the initial rounds of discussions in this regard were held with the office bearers of Hotels and Restaurant’s Association.
“As per our proposal, the hotel and restaurant operators can apply for the grade with the Corporation. As per their request, the Heath Department officials will inspect the hotel and its premises. If the hotels meet the criteria stipulated for a particular grade, they will be rewarded accordingly. For instance, if a particular hotel meets the requirements for A grade, it will be given that particular grade. Graded institutions will be given a certificate which they should display at the hotel,” he added. The civic body also announced that the best hotels will be encouraged by other awards annually.
“But the plan did not materialise. The hotel and restaurant owners did not show any interest citing their own reasons. Hence, we were forced to drop the idea,” he added.
However, Ashraf said that after the Food Safety Act, the Food Safety Department has been vested with more power to take actions against unhygienic hotels.
“Hence, the corporation has decided to join hands with the Food Safety Department to take stringent action against the hotels if they supply stale food or serve food in unhygienic conditions,” he added.