Several fish stalls in city without food safety registration: Report

The report stated that as per the finding of the Enforcement Squad, 232 licenced vendors are there in the city.

Published: 12th July 2023 08:02 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th July 2023 08:02 AM   |  A+A-

A roadside fish stall in city. (Photo | T P Sooraj)

Express News Service

KOCHI: One can see fish-selling stalls in every nook and corner of the city. But most of them have not registered under the Food Safety Act, which mandates them to ensure the quality of the product. The report of the amicus curiae filed before the Kerala High Court proves this.

It stated that “the Enforcement Squad has reported that many of the vendors, who are selling fish, food and beverages and fruits and vegetables, are carrying on the vending operations under cover of the certificate of vending issued to street vendors. They do not have any registration under the Food Safety Act, which is a mandatory requirement for preparing and selling food articles.”

K P Pradeep, the amicus curiae, filed the report in a case regarding implementing the street vendors (protection of Livelihood and Regulation of street vending) Act in Kochi.

The Enforcement Squad found that though the 131 fish sellers, 620 sellers of food and beverages, and 454 fruits and vegetable vendors obtained certificates of vending as street vendors, many of them did not have registration under the Food Safety Act.

Considering this, the monitoring committee of the Kochi corporation has decided to furnish the details of the vendors having street vending certificates and bunk licenses and those who are dealing in food articles to the Food Safety Department to enforce the registration under the Act.

The report stated that as per the finding of the enforcement squad, 232 licenced vendors are in the city. From May 4, the Enforcement Squad started the verification of the 211 licensed bunks, and in the second phase, a total of 17 checking drives were conducted. During the verifications, it found that 12 licensed bunks were functioning with violations, and those bunks were forcefully closed or notices were served to the owner, or a fine was imposed.

Seven bunks were seen functioning without any license, and those were closed. Since some of the unlicensed bunks are found with permanent structures and also fitted with electricity/water connections, those bunks have not been instantly removed from the footpath but closed.

To remove these illegal structures, the aid of machines and more labour-power is required. The district collector has ordered to include the officers of the Food Safety Department in the Enforcement Squad. Three food safety officers are now associating with the Squad, and it has been suggested to conduct the inspection with the aid of the mobile testing laboratory.

The enforcement squad also found that eight street vendors have violated the conditions by employing others to run the vending cart and misusing the vending certificate.  The address furnished in the list of street vendors and bunk licensees, as well as the address mentioned in the vending certificate, are not tallying. 

City Police Commissioner has suggested exploring a scheme to promote door-to-door delivery of consumables through the licensed street vendors, and if such a scheme is included in the vending plans and suitable automobile run carts are supplied to the beneficiary street vendors, the insufficiency in the identified vending slots can be resolved to a greater extent.

Vending slots concern

Currently, 2,350 vendors have street vending certificates, but only 1,339 slots are available to accommodate them. City Police Commissioner has suggested exploring a scheme to promote door-to-door delivery of consumables through licensed street vendors. The committee decided to include the suggestion in the proposed project for supplying vending cart, stated the report of amicus curiae

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