Hoteliers in the state have taken a strong exception to the five conditions of the Food Safety and Standards Act, including the restriction on the chefs from wearing ornaments, as they are “not practical and feasible to the functioning of low and medium level hotels”.
The State Food Safety Commissioner had issued a circular the other day with 30 guidelines in the Act after the tragic incident of a youth’s death on July 10 after having ‘shawarma’ from Salwa Cafe in Thiruvananthapuram.
“It’s improper to ask the women not to wear ornaments including their wedding chain. These kind of restrictions are applicable only in case of big food industries,” said Jose Mohan, president of the Kerala Hotels and Restaurants Association(KHRA).
The association is also against the two guidelines on the use of water.
“We are using drinking water provided either by the Corporation or the Water Authority and it’s the duty of the government to ensure the quality of water.
“We are using bore-well water for washing as the availability and cost of drinking water is so dear. Hence, it is not practical to use drinking water for this purpose,” he said.
The guidelines make it mandatory to keep the details of the medical examination that all persons in the hotel who deal with food are free from any contagious diseases and need certificates from a government doctor not less than a medical surgeon to all the employees by October 31. However, the hoteliers argue that it would not be practical to get the certificate from government surgeons and instead suggest the certificate from any qualified doctor.
The KHRA president pointed out that there is no clarity about the distance between the kitchen and the toilets though they are not against keeping it clean and tidy by sanitising it four times a day.
“We would be raising our objections to the commissioner after a discussion. We would also be meeting the Chief Minister and Health Minister next week,” said Jose.