THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Under the 'Clean Street Food Hub,' an initiative of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India, street food shops at different parts of the state including Shangumugham will be raised to five star standards. When street shops in the city are mushrooming by day, the initiative aims at providing good quality food in clean environments.
According to the commissioner of Food Safety, Rathan U Kelkar, street food culture is deeply rooted in the minds of Indians, especially Malayalees.
By focusing on local cuisines, the initiative also ensures social and economic upliftment of the street vendor community by helping them improve food quality thereby attracting more customers. "It is a 360-degree approach to Food Safety and Healthy Nutrition. We are trying to build a street food hub at the Shangumugham beachside where customers can have quality food while enjoying nature. Initially, an audit team verifies the street shop and lists down the requirements to gain quality certification. Once rectified, street vendors will be coached on cleanliness. Sessions comprise personal hygiene to food nutrition and health benefits," said Rathan.
The Food Safety Department officials stressed on the need to develop a healthy eating habit in order to avoid lifestyle diseases. "Unhealthy cooking using refined oil and the use of unhygienic ice and water can result in severe health conditions. Hence strict instructions must be followed by street vendors. Lack of washbasins was one of the major problems faced. This will be sorted by making it mandatory to install washbasins in each shop," he added.