Friday, February 17, 2012

Ensure food safety by March 7, roadside eateries told


COIMBATORE:The Food and Drug Administration Department of Food Safety Directorate has fixed March 7 as the deadline for owners of roadside, small eateries and food vendors using pushcarts to fall in line with the provisions of the Food Safety and Standards Act of 2006 to ensure hygiene and food safety.Designated Officer for Food Safety R. Kadiravan, Food Safety Officers K. Chandran and R. Govindarajan on Thursday sensitised owners of small, roadside eateries and food stalls on pushcarts to the provisions in the Food Safety and Standards Act of 2006 compared to the repealed Prevention of Food Adulteration Act.The owners will have to apply for licence and registration before March 7 failing which they will be evicted from their places of business. If the vendor has applied for licence and there is a delay in its issuance then he/she is at liberty to carry on with the business and the Act insulates him/her from action. The Department will provide identity cards with photo and certificates to them.The food stall owners should provide protected potable drinking water preferably water packets or bottled water to customers and the workers should be wearing masks and gloves. Those preparing and serving food should wear aprons and there should be stainless steel replacing iron or wooden surfaces on which the food is being prepared. All the three sides of the cooking place in pushcarts should be covered with 2.5-ft glass panes.Food should not be merely served on plates and there should be a plantain leaf or a butter paper. Spoons provided should be of “use and throw” type to prevent repeated use without proper cleaning. The food containers should remain closed and there should be containers or drums to wash hands.No eatery or pushcart should be closer to drainage. Eateries should have a board depicting the brands of edible items used. The officials point out that a beginning has been made and the machinery wants to make the food vendors obey the rules so that their business grows and also the health of the customers is not affected.