Government’s ‘Eat Right Kerala’ mobile app placed in the spotlight

Explaining the process, a senior official with the department said an eatery has to register and apply for a rating card.
Eat Right Kerala mobile application
Eat Right Kerala mobile application

KOCHI: The Kerala government’s ‘Eat Right Kerala’ mobile application, launched in June with much fanfare to help customers select restaurants with the highest hygiene and food safety ratings, is in the spotlight following the recent death of a youth from food poisoning, supposedly after eating shawarma from an eatery in Kakkanad. 

Worryingly enough, Le Hayat restaurant, from where the 24-year-old ordered food online, has a “considerably good” three-star rating on the app, which was launched by the food safety department following a series of food poisoning incidents earlier in the year. 

“A three-star rating signifies ‘considerably good’ hygiene. Moreover, the cause of death of the youth is yet to be ascertained. We are awaiting medical reports to take further action,” a senior department official told TNIE. 

Incidentally, the app itself has yet to gain traction. The reasons include lack of publicity, technical glitches and the listing of a limited number of outlets. The app, which provides hygiene ratings of restaurants, their locations details, besides complaint-redressal options, was launched on June 7. So far, just over 1,600 eateries across the state have signed on. Of these, only 98 are from Ernakulam.

“By next week, around 70 more restaurants will be listed. The ratings are issued by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) after conducting a third-party audit,” said John Vijaykumar, assistant commissioner of food safety, Ernakulam.

Explaining the process, a senior official with the department said an eatery has to register and apply for a rating card. “Based on the registration, FSSAI will conduct a third-party audit. Ratings are issued on the basis of the audit. A good rating provides more credibility to an eatery and also fosters healthy competition,” the official added.

The food safety official said the department has been continuously monitoring and inspecting eateries across the state. “This has helped Kerala improve its rank from sixth in 2021–22 to first in 2022–23 among large states on the FSSAI national food safety index,” the official noted.

The official stressed that the department is looking to promote the app via social media. “Attempts are on to popularise the app. We will soon begin displaying 30-second spots at movie theatres,” the official said. The app has had over 10,000 downloads on the Google Play Store. 

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The New Indian Express