India: CII proposes checklist for street food

 

Wednesday, August 06, 2008, 13:00 Hrs  [IST]

By P Krishna Kumar | New Delhi

 

Source of Article:  http://www.hospitalitybizindia.com/detailNews.aspx?aid=1817&sid=1

 

The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has come up with a 14-point checklist to improve the safety and quality of street vended food in the country. The checklist, designed by the CII Institute of Quality, Bengaluru was released as part of the two-day national seminar on “Food Safety and Quality in Kitchen – Freedom from Food borne Illnesses through Safe Kitchen”, in Delhi recently, by Subodh Kant Sahay, Minister for Food Processing Industries. The two-day seminar, organised by the National Committee on Food & Food Processing of CII aims at creating widespread sensitisation on food borne illnesses and its prevention through hygiene and safety practices in the kitchens.

Inaugurating the seminar, Sahay said that there were objections from Members of Parliament against including the street food vendors under the food safety mechanism. “People today, are ready to pay more for good and hygienic products. The Ministry has decided to launch a scheme whereby thousands of unorganised street food vendors would be identified, profiled and trained on the safety and quality aspects,” says Sahay. The Minister reiterated his call to investors to invest heavily in the food processing sector as that would enhance the processing facilities and storage facilities in India. This will benefit 70 per cent of the population of the country which depend on agriculture for their livelihood.  “The food processing industry has the potential to become the driver of the economic development in India. The rate of growth in the sector has been phenomenal during the last few years,” adds Sahay.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Gavin Wall, UN Food & Agriculture Organisation (FAO) representative to India, informed that catering services are both a problem and a challenge. Appreciating the efforts of the CII in sensitising the society on the importance of food safety, Wall said that the local bodies like municipalities, urban bodies, etc. have the responsibility of providing infrastructure, like potable water, sewage facilities and waste disposal system to these catering services. He lamented that Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) is the “most abused” term today even though it is not a standard in itself.

In his welcome address, Piruz Khambatta, Chairman, CII Food Processing Committee, cited a recent WHO report which said that one in every 10 diseases and six per cent of deaths globally were on account of lack of sanitation. He said that if this aspect is taken care of, it would mean a total productivity gain of US$9.9 billion, per year. He said that there was an increasing need to promote greater assurance for consumers about food safety and quality.  The Chairman also informed that the copies of the 14-point checklist would be made available in regional languages and would also be circulated among catering units associated with the school meal programme in India.

 

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