Tribune News Service
Bathinda, April 17
The district Health Department will organise a training programme on food safety norms for roadside venders and kiosk owners soon.
The objective of the programme is to ensure that food or snacks sold at roadside vends are manufactured in line with food safety norms and served in hygienic conditions.
Department officials observed that generally there is lack of awareness about food safety norms among those engaged in selling snacks, beverages and food items on roadside vends and kiosks.
As a result, buyers often become their victim when food is served them in utterly unhygienic conditions, they added.
The officials said buyers often unaware of the food being served under unhygienic conditions become vulnerable to numerous diseases, especially during the summer season.
Talking to Bathinda Tribune, Dr Ashok Monga, officials of the Health Department, said, “We have already imparted training in food safety norms to more than 250 food business operators in the district. The training is still on and we have decided that in the final phase, we will provide free training to the roadside vend owners to make them aware of manufacturing and selling of food under hygienic conditions. We will also issue a certificate to them.”
Dr Monga said, “It is a must for every food business operator, be it a manufacturer in a factory or a small-time roadside vendor, to get registered with the Health Department. For the food business operator with the annual sale below Rs12 lakh, registration (Rs100) is a must. For those whose sale is above Rs12 lakh, they need to pay from Rs2,000 to Rs5,000 to get a licence.”
The state Health Department’s initiative is aimed at spreading awareness among food product manufacturers/ sellers to ensure maximum compliance with the food safety norms and minimal lapses (on account of unawareness).
After administering training of four hours, the Health Department also provides a safety kit (gloves, apron and headgear) and issues a certificate (food supervisor) to the trainees.