THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:When it comes to dining out, a common man’s first choice is always the pushcarts and wayside eateries. One major factor that attracts them towards it is the option of savouring delicacies at affordable rates. Despite its appealing factors, the unpleasant question that hangs in the air is how hygienic is the food that is being served by wayside eateries?
Now, in a bid to ensure the quality of food and to instil a sense of responsibility among those who serve food via roadside eateries, the Food Safety Commissionerate is mulling the idea of introducing a ‘safe food through wayside eateries’ campaign. The initiative, conceptualised by Commissioner of Food Safety
M G Rajamanickam for state-wide implementation, will first be introduced on a pilot basis at Thiruvananthapuram City Corporation.
“Spreading over 100 wards of the corporation, there are around 350-plus roadside eateries. The very objective of this initiative is to make the proprietors of these eateries aware of the Food Safety and Standards Act (FSSA) and impart hygienic lessons to them,” said A Satheesh Kumar, Assistant Commissioner of Food Safety (Intelligence).
He adds that the said initiative will be of continuous in nature. Two-round of awareness classes has already been completed and the response so far has been ‘overwhelming’.“When we first conducted the awareness class as part of the initiative in June, around 50 roadside eateries had attended. The participation rose to 85, during the second class. Based on its success, it will be spread to more areas,” adds Satheesh.
At the same time, Pooja Raveendran, Food Safety Officer- Thiruvananthapuram Circle said more than that of seizing expired and adulterated foods from roadside eateries, one common problem that has been identified is the lack of hygiene among them.
“It has been found that the nowadays migrants were being employed at roadside eateries. We don’t know how much importance they give to hygiene. During the awareness classes, we ask the proprietors to ensure the personal cleanliness of its staffs. A medical camp was also conducted for them. We had also asked them to shed the practice of using colour additives, monosodium glutamate and others while preparing food,” said Pooja.