FDA's New Year resolution: Get eateries to toe food safety law
As the countdown to 2012 begins in December, restaurants and pubs in the city are in for an inspection for food safety. The state Food and Drug Administration (FDA) department will be examining the eateries across the cities just a month before New Year's eve.
After issuing notices to bars and restaurants to comply with the new Food Safety and Standards (FSS) Act, 2006, the FDA has deployed teams across the state to check the hygiene levels in haunts both popular and obscure.
Clean drive: FDA officials say non-compliance with food standards on
the part of diners will invite a penalty of Rs 100 daily. Representaion pic
"This year we will take stringent action against eateries that fail to comply with the amended FSS Act. We are giving them a month's notice so that they get enough time to adopt the new law. Hygiene and food safety will be our priority," said Suresh Deshmukh, assistant commissioner (food).
Deshmukh revealed that teams of food inspectors have already been put on the job to scrutinise eateries and they will issue an improvement notice to the eatery if needed.
From getting registered with FDA to wearing gloves, submitting water reports, making food and safety management plan, testing of food extra (see box) all will be monitored before the new year commences.
"Restaurants have been given enough time to get registered with the FDA and make changes as per the
amended law. Now onwards, whoever fails to get registered with the FDA will have to pay the penalty of Rs 100. We do not want them to take the law lightly. Also mandatory chances before the New Year too is on cards," he said.
Recently, a team of retailers and hoteliers appealed to the FDA commissioner to withdraw the clause of penalty. "Orchestra bars are the major violators during new year's eve, so we have decided to start our drive with them, followed by restaurants and hotels."
However, Sudhakar Shetty, president, Indian Hotel and Restaurant Association (AHAR) said, "The new law is not feasible. November 30 is the deadline for registration or else we will have to cough up a Rs 100 fine per day. We have appealed to the FDA commissioner to simplify the amended act and extend the registration process till March 30. With Christmas and New Year round the corner to keep us busy, making all the necessary changes is not possible."