After Sunday’s incident in which some 150 guests at a Bandra wedding party took ill due to suspected food poisoning, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will now initiate measures to train and certify caterers in the state. The food regulator has decided to frame guidelines, and will conduct a training session this week for caterers across the state to avoid such untoward situations in future.
G H Rathod, joint commissioner (food), FDA, said, “We have invited caterers from across the state where we will issue guidelines and conduct a training session for them. Caterers cook food for thousands of people. Hence the responsibility to maintain the quality of food should be their utmost priority.”
On Sunday, 148 people were admitted to various suburban hospitals, following complaints of vomiting and dysentery, after they had consumed food at a wedding reception in Bharat Nagar, Bandra-Kurla Complex road the night before. “The place where the food was prepared was unhygienic. Also, the caterer was not a licensed caterer. It’s a cause for concern for everyone, as chances of bad quality food being served in future cannot be ruled out. Hence, the department will frame guidelines for caterers to maintain hygiene and serve quality food,” said an official on condition of anonymity.
“We request people to hire only licensed caterers so that such incidents are avoided. We will also appeal to the caterers to only tie up with licensed food vendors so that the quality remains intact,” said Rathod. Rathod further added that under the new Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) Act, 2011, every vendor would need to register and acquire an FSSAI licence for selling food products. Not only this, new hygiene standards are also being re-defined for the food industry.