Food Safety requirements while handling high risk foods like cut fruits, fresh salads, and confectionery products

Confectionery Products
Confectionery Products

High risk foods are those that are ready to eat products which should be stored under recommended temperatures and have to be consumed within a limited time frame. High risk foods become easy targets for microbial contamination as bacteria can grow quickly in these food products. Any contamination of food products is a health risk for consumers and Food Business Operators must be over cautious in guarding against contamination in foods that are eaten raw like salads and fruit.

Confectionery items also come under the category of high risk foods as they can deteriorate quickly, even if they are kept under refrigeration particularly if milk products and cream have been used. Uncooked food like fruit and salads, juices and cold beverages need to be prepared with utmost care as bacteria can multiply very quickly in them.

Personal hygiene is very important when handling such foods to prevent cross contamination. Keeping the utensils clean and sterilized is equally important so no pathogens can grow in confectionery products when stored. All food business operators should ensure that the following precautions are  kept in mind so that the high risk foods they serve are totally free of microbial infestations.

Cut fruits/salads, fresh juices and beverages

FBOs must make sure that

  • Fresh fruits, juices and vegetables to be eaten as salads or in cold platters are consumed immediately on being cut.
  • Cut, raw vegetables and fruits are stored only under refrigeration at or below 4°C and that too for short time durations if they need to be stored before consumption.
  • Storage utensils are sanitized and foods are covered when stored
  • Only potable water is used to prepare beverages
  • Ice required for beverages is also made only from potable water.
  • Containers used for keeping ice for consumption should be separate from containers used for food and beverages

Confectionery Products

  • Prepared confectionery products must be stored only in airtight containers.
  • If they are to be displayed then they must be inside covered and hygienic display cases.
  • Cream is kept covered and under refrigeration.
  • Finished products are properly refrigerated and that labels have an expiry date.
  • Properly cooled before they are wrapped and packaged as per regulations.
  • Only permitted food additives, colours, preservatives and flavouring agents are used.
  • Unwrapped confectionery items are used well within time as they have a short shelf life.

Proper attention should be given to cooking, preparing and storing high risk foods to keep them safe for consumption.

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Viviana Mall – First mall to organise Food Safety Training and Certification as per FSSAI guidelines

Viviana Mall, leading destination mall in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region is the first mall to organize Food Safety Training & Certification (FOSTAC) has laid down by FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India).
The FOSTAC training program will slowly and steadily reach across all food operating businesses in order to make all operators FSSAI compliance
Joint Commissioner (FOOD) Konkan Division, FDA – Thane, Suresh Deshmukh was present during the inauguration along with Assistant Commissioner, (Food), FDA – Thane, Krishna Dabhade, who was one of the trainer training the participants from restaurants and food outlets (29 participants in all).
Assistant Commissioner, (Food), FDA – Thane, Krishna Dabhade, who himself conducted training for Food Business Operators (FBO’s) of the mall said, “The training will help food handlers to gain advanced expertise and adhere to the required guidelines in order to provide clean, hygienic, safe food to the customers. We have launched our mascot Master Sehat and Ms. Sehat as approved by FSSAI of healthy individuals. Through the mascot we aim to reach more than 20 lakh plus food operators and customers in a span of a year.”
In order to align with the future guidelines or policies by FSSAI’s, Viviana Mall organized this training for the food establishments present inside the mall. FOSTAC program developed by FSSAI will help in maintaining hygiene and food safety implementation at food establishments. The FSSAI is looking to introduce a mandatory requirement of having at least one trained and certified Food Safety Supervisor in each Food Service Establishment very soon in near future. Food safety supervisor will be responsible in preparing, processing and serving safe and hygiene food that is being served at that particular food business operator. 
Speaking at the event, Joint Commissioner (FOOD), Konkan division FDA – Thane, Suresh Deshmukh said, “FDA’s main objective is to provide clean, safe and hygienic food and we are glad that Viviana Mall, which witnesses 25, 000 to 30, 000 footfalls every day has become a part of the initiative. To spread awareness about clean and hygienic safe food, we are taking certain steps and we are thankful to Viviana Mall to provide us a platform to kick start our initiative as landmark for rest of the malls in Maharashtra State. Proper certification from FDA would be made mandatory for obtaining license for a food business in the next five – six months.”
Viviana Mall invited all the restaurants and food outlets present inside the mall to be a part of the FOSTAC training program.
CEO, Viviana Mall, Sunil Shroff said, “The mall strives to provide better quality and hygienic food to its patrons and employees in the mall. We aim to proactively make our food establishments FSSAI compliant even before the certification becomes mandatory. Even if one supervisor in a food chain is FSSAI certified, the skills can be passed to other employees too. This shall help food businesses to gain more trust from customers and deepen the brand connect.”
The FOSTAC training program will slowly and steadily reach across all food operating businesses in order to make all operators FSSAI compliance. After assessment participants will be certified as FSS (Food Safety Supervisor) which is valid for 2 years.

Nestle sets up first Food Safety Institute in India

Nestle’s first food safety institute in India has come up two years after the Maggi ban
Nestle already runs food safety institutes in China and Lausanne, 
Manesar: More than two years since the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) banned Nestle India Ltd’s Maggi instant noodles over health and safety worries, the new FSSAI CEO Pawan Kumar Agarwal on Wednesday inaugurated the Nestle Food Safety Institute that will provide guidance and training on food safety.
“This partnership is very well thought strategy. Nestle Food Safety Institute will conduct training programmes, on food safety management systems, testing methods and regulatory standards. Partnerships with private parties on food safety and standards are an imperative for FSSAI. This is our effort to implement a first world regulatory ecosystem in India,” said Agarwal.
The FSSAI has been working with Nestle India for setting up the institute at Manesar, where Nestle has its research and development centre, for the past seven months.
While this is the first such institute in India, Nestle already runs a similar institute each in China and Lausanne, Switzerland.
“Nestle can also help with its global expertise in areas of food science, which will help FSSAI in taking informed decisions while formulating regulations,” said Suresh Narayanan.
“Milestones are reached by companies at certain stages. For me this (opening up of the institute with FSSAI’s support) is a milestone for me and it reflects commitment of Nestle in India,” added Narayanan.
Nestle India, which launched 43 products after the Maggi crisis, is looking at consolidating its portfolio over the next 18-24 months. “Now we are in the process to see what is working and what is not working. We cannot support so many products going forward. What you need to do is to prioritise on what you need to focus on, and that core exercise is happening,” said Narayanan.
The company will focus on increasing penetration to ensure volume-led growth, he added

Hotelsmay have to give details of oil , fats used in cooking food items

Proposal part of FSSAI’s efforts to ensure food safety across the country by bringing changes in regulations and undertaking initiatives

As part of its agenda to ensure safe food across India, FSSAI also wants to control sourcing of raw materials by restaurants.
Hotels, restaurants and other food outlets may soon have to declare what kind of oil or fat is being used in cooking each of the food items on their menus, according to a proposal by Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).
“Hotel, restaurant and other food stall shall mark or indicate exclusive desi ghee items to customer and whenever vanaspati or oil or fat is used, shall also be mark (marked) or indicate (indicated) to customer,” the food regulator said in a proposal to change licensing conditions for entities selling prepared food items.
Riyaaz Amlani, president of lobby group National Restaurants Association of India (NRAI), termed the proposed demand as “a fair ask”.
FSSAI has been trying to ensure food safety across the country by bringing changes in regulations and undertaking other initiatives on its own and jointly with private companies in the food space. It earlier said that restaurants should declare calorific and nutritive values of the food they serve on their menus because consumers should know what they may be eating, Mintreported on 10 February.
That’s not all. As part of its agenda to ensure safe food across India, FSSAI also wants to control sourcing of raw materials by restaurants. “The restaurants shall buy food raw materials only from licensed or registered vendors and maintain record thereof,” FSSAI said in its proposal.
So far, vendors of vegetable, spices and other raw materials are not required to have licences from FSSAI.
FSSAI also proposes that restaurants should “employ at least one technical person or Food Safety Supervisor” trained by FSSAI. This may increase operations’ cost for restaurants, especially smaller ones. “It will increase cost. But it is a small price to pay for the health and well-being of our customers,” said Amlani, who owns Impresario Entertainment and Hospitality Pvt. Ltd that runs popular restaurant and bar and café chains such as Smoke House Deli and Social.
“FSSAI has been doing a commendable job in ensuring food safety, there might be some issues, but FSSAI is always open to dialogue with the industry. The NRAI is working closely to ensure training of the supervisors,” said Amlani.
FSSAI has also proposed that food business operators such as hotels, restaurants and others should have a Food Safety Display Board, prominently visible to consumers, that talks about food safety and hygiene practices followed by them at their premises.
India’s food services market is projected to grow to Rs4.98 trillion by 2021, expanding at an annual average rate of 10%, from Rs3.09 trillion in 2016, according to a joint study by NRAI and consulting firm Technopak published last year.

43 McDonald’s outlets ran without valid license since April

 Last month, McDonald's had decided to shut down 43 of the total 55 outlets here due to failure to renew eating house licences. pti file photoMcDonald’s had decided to shut down 43 of the total 55 outlets here due to failure to renew eating house licences. pti file photo

US fast food chain McDonald’s 43 outlets in the national capital operated without valid ‘health licences’ for nearly three months from April 1, its estranged India partner Vikram Bakshi has alleged.

Last month, McDonald’s had decided to shut down 43 of the total 55 outlets here due to failure to renew eating house licences.

Bakshi, an equal joint venture partner of McDonald’s India Pvt Ltd (MIPL) in Connaught Plaza Restaurants Ltd (CPRL), the licensee for North and East India regions, said licences had expired on March 31.

“From April 1 to June 27, 2017, we did not have any health licence, it’s absolutely correct,” Bakshi told PTI.
He has been at loggerheads with McDonald’s since 2013 when he was removed as the managing director of CPRL and is contesting it at legal forums, including the London Court of Arbitration.

Bakshi said the health licence was necessary from local municipal bodies to run the restaurants for water hygiene and proper maintenance of food, among others.

When contacted to confirm if the company operated those 43 outlets without valid health licences, Barry Sum, Director – Corporate Relations, Asia Foundational Markets, McDonald’s, declined to comment.
“We want to focus our efforts on resolving the issues as soon as possible at this moment,” he said.

The closed outlets are unlikely to open any time soon as Bakshi has refused to sign the licensing documents. To renew it, the JV partner and an MIPL-nominated director have to co- sign licence renewal applications.

Bakshi said: “In early March before the licences were to go for renewal, I have clearly stated that because of issues of food safety and because of us not actually providing quality and safe food to customers, I no longer intend to sign (to apply for renewal of) the licences.”

Sum blamed Bakshi for the closing of the outlets.

“The current situation is the result of our former JV partner’s refusal to co-sign the licence renewal applications with an MIPL-nominated director, which were the protocols previously approved by the CPRL board,” he said.

The restaurants will reopen when the required licences have been obtained, Sum said.

MIPL still intends to look for a constructive resolution to the situation so that the impact on stakeholders will be mitigated. This will require the appointment of someone from CPRL other than the directors, he added.

Bakshi defended his decision, saying once he was removed from the post of managing director in 2013, he no longer had the authority.

Even under a new structure when he co-signed with MIPL nominated director Ayesel Melbye, Bakshi claimed that it was him who had to face the issue on the ground and only he was called whenever there was a challan or a police case as his name was in the licence.

“Ayesel Melbye doesn’t live here and continues to live outside India and she is beyond the laws of India,” he said.

Alleging deterioration in quality of food served, Bakshi said: “I have been constantly writing to McDonald’s board and the CEO of the company since 2014 about various issues right up to having served a fried lizard in Kolkata.”

FSSAI aims to regulate distribution of surplus food from restaurants

Aiming to regulate the collection and distribution of surplus food from hotels and restaurants, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has issued a notice calling for suggestions, views and comments from the World Trade Organisation’s sanitary and phytosanitary (WTO-SPS) committee members on the draft regulations.

The draft notice also put out the definition, responsibilities of food business operators (FBOs) and surplus food distribution organisations and labelling regulations. Besides, it also talked about punishment for non-adherence of the regulations.

Surplus food has been described as any leftover, unused portions of safe food that have not been served to the customers.

Explaining the handling of surplus food by the FBOs, the notice stated, “Surplus food handed over to food distribution organisations should be safe and segregated in to perishable and non-perishable items and be packed properly to avoid contamination during handling and storage.”

“Both the perishable and non-perishable surplus food be stored in hygienic condition at optimum temperature to ensure their safety, and the food donor should give an advance notice to food distribution organisations to ensure the timely distribution and consumption of food within its shelf life,” it added.

Commenting on the importance of handling surplus food properly, an official from FSSAI informed, “Food wastage is taken very seriously in developed countries. Food wastage and starvation in India is a problem, and has become important issue in recent times. To curb the wastage this move has been taken.”

“Surplus food provided to the needy by the distribution organisation is required to follow the hygiene and food safety regulations mentioned in the draft, and any complaint received regarding its enforcement will be taken seriously,” he added.

Giving more information about handling and distribution of surplus food by the food distribution organisation, the notice stated, “Surplus food picked up from the FBO’s facility should be packed in clean and covered containers, and it shall have the required date markings, namely the pick-up date and the use-by date of the food.”

“It shall be stored and transported in the appropriate hygienic conditions and at the appropriate optimum temperature. Insulated containers and ice packs, if necessary, may be used to maintain the food temperature during handling and transportation. The vehicle used for transportation should be cleaned on a regular basis and shall not be used for purposes other than delivering food,” it added.

“Surplus food should be distributed and served to the needy before the expiry or until the food is fit for human consumption, and the food that is not fit for consumption should be put in a container marked food for disposal,” the notice said.

“When a refrigerator is used for storage of surplus food, it should be cleaned once a week and should be maintained below seven degree Celsius. The storage area should be well sealed to prevent the entry of pests and a pest control programme shall be followed,” it added.

“All employees or volunteers who work with distribution organisations should maintain personal hygiene and training in health and personal hygiene will be imparted to them. No person shall come into contact with food during any illness,” the notice stated.

Robin Hood Army is a volunteer-based organisation with chapters in 42 cities. It works to get surplus food from restaurants across to the less fortunate people. It has welcomed the directions issued by the apex regulator.

Sanchit Jain, the organisation’s founding member and head of expansion team, said, “ We welcome the move, as somewhere there is a lack of awareness, and with this, there is an attempt to take up the problem and find a solution.”

“Talking about Robin Hood Army, we take a lot precaution from our side to ensure the quality of the food we serve,” he added.

Speaking about the hygiene aspects, Jain said, “The packaging material or container used for the storing food is done properly, so there is no spoilage. We do not store the food and distribution is done within an hour of collection.”

“We have two core rules. Firstly, we don’t take money, and secondly, we are very conscious when it comes to the quality of the food. Even though the food is used for charity purposes, we make sure that it is not old or stale food,” he added.

Meanwhile, the draft also prescribed the labelling requirements of donated food. It stated that pre-packaged foods shall bear complete labels, containing the name of the item/food, the manufacturer information, the list of ingredients and the date of expiry.

The donated prepared food shall be labelled with the name of the food, the source of the food, the date of preparation, the last date of consumption and the nature of the food (i e vegetarian or non-vegetarian). Also, the information on the label should not be masked in any manner.

The draft also mentioned constituting a committee for the monitoring the enforcement of these regulations in the states.

It said, “The commissioner of the state/Union Territory (UT) will constitute a monitoring committee at the state/UT level. It will consist of two members from state enforcement, one representative from the department of consumer affairs of the respective state, one member from a non-governmental organisation (NGO), one representative from a food distribution organisation, one representative from an industry association and other relevant stakeholders.”

“The said committee shall monitor and make recommendations for the improvement of the operation, may issue guidelines for the collection and retrieval of food and will also specify the time before the expiry, at which food shall be segregated,” the draft added.

சென்னையில் ஒரு திகில் உணவகம் (காணொளி)

சென்னையில் ஒரு திகில் உணவகம் (காணொளி)

”பால் நினைந்தூட்டும் தாயினும் சாலப்பரிந்து” என்பார் மாணிக்கவாசகர். “பேய்கள் சாலப் பரிந்தூட்டும்” உணவகம் ஒன்று சென்னையில் அமைந்திருக்கிறது. (காணொளி சென்னைச் செய்தியாளர் ஜெயக்குமார் )

சென்னையில், குறிப்பிட்ட ஒரு கருப்பொருளை பின்னணியாக கொண்டு உருவாக்கப்படும் “தீம்” உணவகங்களில் இதுவும் ஒன்று.

உணவு பரிமாறும் முறையிலும், பரிமாறப்படும் உணவுகளின் பெயர்களிலும் கூட இங்கு ஒரு அமானுஷ்ய தன்மை இருக்கிறது.

‘பேய் விருந்து’ என பெயரிடப்பட்டுள்ள மதிய உணவு இந்த உணவகத்தில் மிக பிரபலம்.

உணவகத்திற்குள் திரும்பும் பக்கமெல்லாம் அமானுஷ்ய கதை கூறும் படங்களும், பேய் பொம்மைகளும் காணப்படுகிறது.

அந்த உணவகத்தில் ஆங்காங்கே எழுப்பப்படும் சத்தங்களும் கூட மென்மையான இதயம் கொண்டவர்களுக்கு திகிலூட்டக் கூடும்!

அனைத்திலும் வித்தியாசத்தை எதிர்பார்க்கும் சிலர், இது போன்ற விசித்திரமான உணவகங்களையும் ரசிக்கத்தான் செய்கின்றனர்.

‘பேய்ப்பசி’ எடுத்தால் இங்கு போகலாம்!