Food Safety News – India updates – Nov 7

AP / TELENGANA

GOA

Flavor of certification on choris pav and street food

It is going to be the winning combination of great taste and hygiene in street food soon, if the ambitious Serve Safe Food @ Street Food initiative takes-off, 
Food vendors in Goa are at the receiving end of a makeover. An ambitious food safety and hygiene training-cum-certification programme is underway to ensure clean food to customers. It is a pilot project under the Serve Safe Food @ Street Food initiative of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). 
Under the initiative street food vendors are due for a transformation. They will be trained to maintain sanitation in cooking and serving. Proof of training (as per norms) will be a certificate issued by the Food and Drug Administration department. Vendors will also present themselves to customers sleekly. Clad in clean tees, cap and apron they will be matching restaurants in smartness.
All in it is going to be the perfect fusion for street food lovers. Residents get to tuck into their favorite choris pav and ras omlete without worrying over the aftermaths. The certificate displayed on the food cart will be the evidence of quality for the customer. It is an ambitious programme with the purpose of raising the level of street food vendors. The taste of street food is unquestionable yummy but efforts now are in improving quality so that the food can be had by all and business increases.
Over the years, street food in Goa is got amazing in range. From juices to milkshakes and shawarmas to cutlet bread there is wide variety to suit all taste. The food street at Miramar-Dona Paula road where there are about 25-30 vendors is an example of the diversity in choice. Vendor Ram Gopal Singh, ragda- patties cart owner, says that most of the cart owners on the road are following rules of hygiene. Singh is wearing an apron and gloves.
The gloves are disposable and the water served to customers is branded, he says. But a query on the cleanliness of the water used for washing brings an unsatisfactory reply. Singh says that the water is fresh and got from home. The area has no running water source from the municipality and so Singh like other cart owners has to depend on stored water.
Check around Panjim city reveals that several of the popular street food vendors follow basic rules of hygiene. The Ravi Ras Omelet, at the end of 18th June Road is highly popular in clientele. Proprietor Ravi is in apron, cap and gloves. His three helpers are similarly attired. Chat with several food vendors reveals that most are willing to follow hygiene rules.
The problem is in the unsanitary road conditions. “Garbage in this area has not been lifted since days,” says Sushil Naik, vendor of cutlet pav near National Theatre. Naik claims that vendors who do brisk business maintain a certain level of cleanliness because they want to satisfy customers but the problem is in small cart owners who flout all rules.
According to Salim Veljee, director, FDA, there are 500 registered street food vendors in Goa who are FDA licensed, while 150 vendors are unlicensed. “Food vendors who have not got clearance from the panchayat or the municipality are not registered by us,” he says. The problem of unlicensed operators is not because of the inclination of the vendor to flout rules but because of the delay in getting permits from the local body, he says. “The Serve Safe Food @ Street Food initiative is open for all food vendors,” clarifies Veljee.
The programme was launched on November 2 2016 with support of the National Association of Street Vendors of India (NASVI) and Nestle- Goa. At the first instance around 35 vendors arrived for training. The target is training in batches of all vendors with 100 per cent coverage by December end. If the programme is implemented successfully then Goa will be the first state in India to have trained and certified food vendors.
Arbind Singh, national convenor, NASVI, said that street food vendors are businessmen in their own way. There are examples of food vendors who have become big industrialists, he said. He said that Gulshan Kumar, T-Series founder, was a juice vendor once. The latest initiative is an opportunity to change for all food vendors in the state.
Timely collection of garbage, availability of water and absence of harassment from police and municipal workers is the main problem faced by all street food vendors in Goa. These issues need to be addressed along with training and certification to improve the quality of street food in the state.

PUNJAB

Sample reports of sweets not disclosed by Health Department

Ludhiana: Before festive season, health department has taken many samples from different sweets shops but so far no reports have been out by the department. The festive season had gone but still no reports have been revealed by the department.
Many checking drive were organized in which samples from many sweetmeat shops were collected and were sent for testing. Surprisingly even after so many weeks the health department officials have failed to announce the report of these samples.
Irregularity in their working of health department has exposed them properly as no reports have been released the officials which shows the officials are hand in gloves of sweet shops.
From adulterated ‘Khoya’ to the silver layer used on sweets by the sweetmeat shop owners, every kind of irregularities are going on openly in the city while the health department was sitting on its hands.
Residents now say that health department was not ready to hold raids at major sweetmeat shops due to their personal interest.
According to the sources in health department, they have taken more than 60 samples from different sweets shops in past 30 days but reports are not being revealed.
Methods to check purity
Put a drop of iodine liquid on khoya. If a blue layer is formed, it indicates the presence of starch in khoya.
Rub the silver leaf layer on sweets with two fingers if it becomes powder then it is original. If after rubbing it forms a wick then it could be aluminum foil which is dangerous for health.
Food Safety and Standard Act
According to food safety and standard act, cases of less adulteration and labelling matters come in the categories of “substandard” and “misbranded”.
While the use of synthetic and major adulterated products, including harmful chemicals, insects in food, come under “unsafe” category.
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