THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: As part of the Eat Right India initiative, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) would launch a third party auditing of all registered eateries in the state capital next week. A senior official of the Commissionerate of Food Safety said the third party auditing would be launched soon and the plan is to give hygiene ratings for eateries which would be displayed for the public so that the consumers know how safe the eatery is.
The initiative is aimed at providing informed choices for consumers while eating out and encourages food business operators to improve hygiene standards. Earlier, FSSAI had audited 50 meat and sweet shops in the district as part of the pilot initiative. Thiruvananthapuram is one of the 197 cities taking part in the Eat Right India initiative.
“A team from FSSAI had visited the city two weeks back. The auditing would be carried out by an outside agency deployed by FSSAI and we have no say in that. They will audit our eateries and evaluate the hygiene standards and come out with a report. We don’t have the exact count of the number of eateries in the district. The survey would help encourage the Food Business Generators (FBOs) to improve their safety standards and the consumer would be able to choose better eateries based on the rating given to them. The rating would be displayed at every eatery in the district,” said an official.
The Commissionerate of Food Safety had partnered with the Kudumbashree Mission to conduct a survey to find out the number of FBOs. “Due to the election code of conduct, we couldn’t complete the survey. Kudumbashree had already surveyed more than 5,000 eateries. The plan is to encourage them to take registration and get the mandatory training to run the FBOs following all food safety standards set by FSSAI,” the official added.
Authorities have identified hospitals and other institutions in the district to cultivate them as Eat Right Campuses to promote food safety. They are planning to conduct Food Safety Training and Certification (FOSTAC), a training programme initiative by FSSAI, for around 1,000 FBOs in the district. “We will start the training programme next. We had to put on hold all our plans because of the assembly elections and now we are slowly getting back on track,” said the official.
Dos and donts
FBOs must have sanitary facilities for guests and staff like toilets, hand wash etc
Food handlers must wear clean clothes (washed daily)
Staff must wear head cover, apron, mouth mask, and gloves
Staff must be medically examined once a year to ensure they are free from infections and other contagious diseases
Employees suffering from any contagious disease must not be allowed to work or handle food