Patna: The health department’s food safety wing will introduce a rating system for street vendors and small eateries in Patna and other towns in Bihar.
The eateries would be given three stars, four stars or five stars based on hygiene, raw material, water facility, personal hygiene, use of disposable products, and other factors.
The World Health Organization has sponsored the programme being conducted by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India. It will start from Patna in the first week of June, and then be launched in Bodhgaya, Muzaffarpur, Rajgir and Nalanda on pilot basis.
Street food vendors, and authorised and unauthorised small eateries catering to a huge chunk of the population will be rated under the programme.
“Fingers are always raised at the street food vendors and small eateries when it comes to hygiene. The rating system will help dispel doubts about their service and residents would be able to rely on them,” said an officer in the state food safety wing, on the condition of anonymity.
“The ratings will be made public through newspaper advertisements from time to time so that the vendors and small eateries get a confidence boost. Besides, the rating would be uploaded on the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India website. The food safety authority conducted a training for food safety officers on how to rank the street vendors and small eateries, in Calcutta on May 14 and May 15.”
Food safety officers will first conduct a survey of all the street food vendors and small eateries and check the facilities. Details of the changes required for a star rating will next be handed over to the eateries.
Third, inspection will be conducted later to check if the changes had been implemented, and then only will be eateries be ranked.
A three-star rating will mean the service provider is good, a 4-star very good, and 5-star rating excellent, said the food safety official.
On the parameters that would be checked, the food safety officer said: “Checks will be conducted for hygiene in the set-up, use of potable water, and the kind of raw materials used in cooking. We would also check if personal hygiene has been taken care of or not – if men’s hands are clean, nails are cut and women’s hair is tied. Besides, we will check if disposable items have been used, there is a proper drainage system, and the food is properly covered. Water storage – kept in colourful drums or in white plastic as is the norm – will be checked too.”
Courtesy: The Telegraph