Restaurants will need to display scores at the entrance; optional requirement for now
Mumbai: In a first, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will rate restaurants on the basis of hygiene and parameters like water management, kitchen upkeep, food waste management, complaint handling etc. The restaurants will be required to display the scores on the doors so customers can easily see the information.
“This plan has been adopted in many countries and has been successful. Initially, it will not be a mandatory but voluntary for food joint owners. The success of this initiative will be achieved when visitors ensure they eat at restaurants with good ratings and are mindful of their eating habits,” said Pawan Kumar Agarwal, chief executive of Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), who announced the initiative on Wednesday.
While it is an FSSAI initiative, the FDA will implement it. In Maharashtra, pilots will be carried out in Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur, and 30 restaurants will be given the score certificates in the first round.
In another initiative, the FDA will declare clean street food hubs. In the initial stages of the plan, the FDA will work with other associations in four zones: Juhu Chowpatty and Girgaum Chowpatty in Mumbai, Saras Baug in Pune and Phutara Talaav in Nagpur.
“We have already conducted activities for training and capacity-building of the street food vendors but problems like absence of clean water supply are much bigger . Hence, based on an approved framework, we will conduct a gap analysis and solve the problems,” said Dr. Pallavi Darade, FDA Commissioner. The FSSAI chief also emphasised the importance of food fortification.
On food fortification, Mr. Agarwal said, “Food fortification costs little. Hence, many companies and organisations are ready to adopt it including the Central Government, that ensures use of fortified food products in schemes such as the mid-day meal. Consumers too can now know if a product is fortified with the help of the ‘+F’ logo on the packaging.”