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Ahmedabad’s Kankaria Lake declared FSSAI’s first Clean Street Food Hub

12,September, 2018 Comments off

FSSAI recently declared Ahmedabad’s Kankaria Lake as the first Clean Street Food Hub.  The locality has about 66 street food vendors serving street foods like pao bhaji, bhel puri, ice cream, khichu, popcorn, dhokla, dosa, pani puri, etc. to approximately 1.2 crore people every year. At the launch event, a Guidance Document on Clean Street Food Hub was released and a logo for the locality was unveiled.
The Clean Street Food Hub initiative was envisaged by the apex regulator to raise the quality of the food sold on the streets to the level of those sold in food courts and established hotels and restaurants.
To implement this project, FSSAI, along with the Food and Drug Control Administration (FDCA), Gujarat and DNVGL Business Assurance India Pvt Ltd initially conducted a pre-audit visit of this identified street.
At the time of the pre-audit, suggestions were given for improvement of gaps, and consequently, the street food vendors were trained by the Food Safety Awareness and Training Organisation (FSATO), with special attention to the areas where improvement was required.
Following this, the final assessment prior to declaring it a Clean Street Food Hub was conducted jointly by the team of FDCA, Gujarat and DNVGL.
As per the final audit report of DNVGL, H G Koshia, food safety commissioner, Gujarat FDCA, recommended that the street of Kankaria Lake, Ahmedabad, met 80 per cent of the specified criteria for basic hygiene and sanitary requirements, and hence, could be awarded the Clean Street Food Hub title.
As a part of this initiative, FSSAI has framed a guidance document to upgrade the existing infrastructure of street food clusters across the country, and provide a safe and hygienic local eating experience.
This document provided the benchmarks for basic hygiene and sanitary requirements, the standard operating procedure (SOP), an audit checklist, the details of partners and a list of identified potential hubs which will help in implementation of this initiative. An important part of this initiative is the training of the food handlers involved in the street food vending for good hygiene practices to ensure food safety while preparing and serving the food.
On the occasion, Pawan Kumar Agarwal, chief executive officer, FSSAI, said, “I hope that the Clean Street Food Hub initiative will raise hygiene standards and revolutionise street food vending in the country and make it more popular and a must-have for both domestic and international tourists, besides preserving the rich culinary heritage of the country. The initiative will also bring the street food vendors into a food ecosystem where the Indian street food vending will be looked up with high esteem at a global level.”
The Government of Gujarat also announced that four cities, namely Surat, Vadodara, Rajkot and Dahod, will be the next to adopt the initiative and convert the street food clusters in these cities to Clean Street Food Hubs. V G Vanzara, additional secretary, health and family welfare, Government of Gujarat, and Koshia were present on the occasion.

Categories: NEWS

How safe is our Indian street food?

12,September, 2018 Comments off
 

Be it the crunchy, mouth-watering gol gappas of Chandni Chowk, or the delicious kachori fromConnaught Place, the life of an average Indian feels incomplete without street food. And why not? It is more delicious than what many fancy restaurants can promise, and it fits right into our pockets! It’s the one food everybody loves, no matter what the class, what the background. But unfortunately, all is not rainbows and sunshines. With no intention of taking your occasional guilty pleasure of eating paav bhaji away, we put in a quick question here. How hygienic do you think our street food really is?

A reality check

A study conducted by the Institute of Hotel Management (IHM) in 2015 revealed some highly shocking results. In the samples collected from famous street food joints, the institute found traces of faecal matter (excrement product) in items like gol gappas. A bacteria called E. Coli was also present in high amounts. The bacteria is known to cause problems like diarrhea, gastroenteritis etc.

Keeping the research data aside, our minds are guaranteed to fall into a dubious state even if we simply consider the areas we get our favorite street food from. Most of the vendors have their stalls in the open, usually on roadsides or in street corners. Some are conveniently placed inches away from public washrooms. How hygienic that is, is not too difficult a question to answer. With the exception being of a few small-scale vendors, and mainstream street food joints, gloves are rarely used for serving or preparing the food. The risk on safety increases further in case of food items like bhelpuri etc since they also use raw vegetables, the sanitation of which is questionable.

Are fruits or fruit juice really a safer alternative?

Do you doubt the safety of street food, and hence, choose to consume fruit juice/ fruits from your local vendor? If yes, you might need to reconsider your choices. It will sound shocking, but your attempts to switch to a healthier lifestyle might actually be doing you more harm than good.

Not only is there a lack of guarantee about the utensils used being clean, the ice that is put in fruit juice often comes from highly unclean water sources. It is therefore highly recommended that you think twice before hopping onto another fruit juice stall.

In summers, you will find rows after rows of vendors offering you ‘fresh’ cut fruits to beat the scorching heat. Tempting, yes. But healthy? Maybe not so much.

It is generally advised to store cut fruits in a cool place, properly covered. However, that is hardly the storage conditions we find on our roadsides. Without the right treatment, cut fruits have high chances of being contaminated with bacteria.

How can you protect yourself?

While there are certain precautions you should keep in mind, the good news is, you don’t have to say “goodbye” to your favorite snacks. Here, we list down a couple of things you should remember the next time you are out for an eating spree:

1) Make sure the utensils are clean- the one that your food is made in, as well as the one you are being served in.

2) Check how hygienic the surroundings are.

3) Confirm that the seller has gloves on.

4) In case you are going for a glass of juice or shake, avoid getting ice put in. Also, make sure the jug, glass etc used are clean.

5) Avoid eating cut fruits from the roadside.

While we may blame the local vendors for the poor quality of street food, that point of view is highly narrow. The International Journal of Community Medicine and Health published a research paper in early 2018, concluding that “the street food vendors were aware of food hygiene and had favourable attitude towards it, but it wasn’t translated in their hygiene practice”. The reason for the same can be found out easily, at least the partial cause. The street vendors usually lack the appropriate resources to implement a cleaner, healthier system of providing food. Hence, even if they might genuinely wish to change the structure, they simply cannot.

Where does the government fit in?

In 2017, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), along with Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship launched a “one of its kind” initiative in the national capital. Approximately 23,000 street vendors were trained on basic health standards and sanitation. On completion, they were given certificates, as well as a kit containing necessities like apron, gloves etc.

With willing vendors and government initiatives, the condition of street food can be improved tremendously. While that wheel of change is set in motion, as an aware consumer, we must put in our personal set of precautions. And while you do that, make sure you enjoy your delicious treats!

Categories: NEWS

Adulterated mustered oil manufacturing unit sealed in Ludhiana

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Chandigarh: Continuing with its drive against adulterated mustard oil, a food safety team sealed a unit in Ludhiana for indulging in malpractice.

The team inspected and sealed an oil manufacturing unit near Ahmedgarh. While the manufacturing unit was located in Ludhiana district, a wrong packaging address of Sangrur district was printed on the packaging. Entire packed material, which was nearly 168 litres of mustard oil, was seized and the unit was sealed.

Food commissioner K S Pannu said the Fazilka food safety team in a raid at NG Oil Mill, Abohar found impure mustard oil to the tune of 725 litres. Samples were taken for further investigation and the stock was seized. The manufacturer was selling adulterated edible oil as mustard oil. The teams sealed the packaging part of the factory and an oil tanker was also sealed.

Meanwhile, an inspection of Krishna Traders, Hoshiarpur unearthed 180 kg of adulterated desi ghee. The stock was seized and sample of desi ghee and vanaspati were taken for investigation.

Categories: NEWS

FSSAI to audit meat units, slaughter houses in 40 cities in next 3 months

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New Delhi, Sep 11 () The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) said Tuesday it will conduct audit of meat units and municipal slaughter houses in 40 cities in the next three months via third-party auditing agencies.

A mandatory food safety audit of the supply chain for e-commerce retail entities involved in retail of meat or meat products will also be conducted, it said.

The decisions were taken in a meeting with stakeholders that discussed all aspects that affect the quality and safety of meat and meat products either in direct or indirect way.

Food safety regulator FSSAI said in a statement that there is unprecedented increase in the demand for animal proteins, not only in India but globally as well.

"The majority of consumers now in India are eating fish, mutton, goat, pig and poultry. The challenge for this nutritional transition to animal protein based diets is linked with the use of anti-microbials in the feed and compromised hygiene practices at slaughter houses and retail markets. The result is the lack of trust in consumers on the quality and safety of meat and meat products available to them," it said.

In this backdrop, the FSSAI decided in the meeting there is a need to conduct food safety audit of meat units/ municipal slaughter houses in coming three months in 40 cities expanded by third party auditing agency.

Among other decisions taken, the regulator said a steering group for "clean and safe meat" will be formed that will have an overall responsibility for carrying out the activities in this campaign, including the preparation of guidance note for consumers on fish/meat and feed.

This campaign will be a part of ‘Lauh Yatra movement’ to clean the slaughter houses and meat markets. The stakeholders will be participating in the Lauh Yatra covering 2,000 locations in 40 cities across the country.

The regulator also proposed that the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) in collaboration with the feed manufacturing associations and other stakeholders, will review and amend their feed standards for livestock and poultry, if required.

Besides, the FSSAI has decided to train and build capacity of food business operators involved in this sector under the FoSTaC Programme from this month with a target of completing at least 50 trainings by the end of December 2018.The FSSAI will also plan a study on the overall ecosystem in sectors of meat, fish, poultry and feed to identify the gaps/foods safety concerns and the ways to address them.

Categories: NEWS

பிளாஸ்டிக் விழிப்புணர்வு முகாம்

12,September, 2018 Comments off

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புகையிலை விற்றால் உரிமம் ரத்து

12,September, 2018 Comments off

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Categories: DISTRICT-NEWS, Tiruppur