FDA plans to train 1,000 food handlers on hygiene

With a view to ensure food safety measures are practised across eateries in the city, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Pune is planning an ambitious mass training programme for food handlers.FDA officials have planned a mass training of food handlers, which will include restaurateurs, hotels, and kitchen staff, to maintain hygiene. Officials claim this would be a first-of-its-kind project and the magnitude of the training would be recorded in the Limca Book of Records. 

Novel initiative: FDA officials had taken its first step towards ensuring safe food handling procedures in the city wherein they conducted a training session for food vendors near Sarasbaug a few months ago. File Pic

The mass training is scheduled at the end of the month, and FDA is aiming to train 1,000 people at one go.“We not only want to ensure hygienic food for citizens but hope that this effort may set an example for the entire country.

We also want to make Pune a model city for food safety in the country. This is the first such big initiative by us where around a thousand food handlers would be trained,” said Shashikant Kekare, joint commissioner (food), FDA, Pune. According to officials, the training would not be limited to big hotels and restaurants but also include street food vendors.

Elaborating on the programme, Kekare said, “The objective is to create awareness about hygiene and sanitation and usage of best kitchen practices. This would not only help hotels, restaurants, but also dhabas, self-help groups, canteens and street food vendors. The training will be beneficial for them and their customers as well. This practice would also increase their business.”

A few months ago, the FDA had taken its first step towards ensuring safe food handling procedures in the city, where officials had conducted a small session for food vendors near Sarasbaug regarding hygiene. After training them, the FDA is now all set to train a large number of food handlers.

“We are providing training for 1,000 people at a time, which may get recorded in the Limca Book of Records. The procedure to notify the Limca Book of Records officials is under way. After this inaugural session, we will aim to train all food handlers in the city. The standard operating procedure is also ready for all business modules,” said Dilip Sangat, assistant commissioner, (food), FDA, Pune.

According to the officials, there will be a nominal charge for registration in order to cover the event’s expenditure, but all small-cart foodstall owners would not have to pay any charges.  

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