It is a known fact that employees today spend a majority of their time at their workplace – around 67% of their total time. Employees consume at least one meal during working hours, which if not safe, can cause several health issues. Aggravated issues in the form of an outbreak of foodborne diseases, leads to employee absenteeism and low productivity at the workplace – this has grown in the recent days.
To curb these problems at the Corporate level itself, ‘The Orange Book’ is crafted under the SNF portal. ‘Safe and Nutritious Food at Workplace’ is a nationwide campaign to help people eat safe and eat right while at work. The document is the key resource book for this campaign, which includes aspects that shall enable safe food practices at the workplace and ensure employee well-being.
FSSAI officially launched ‘The Orange Book’ on 15th May 2018 in the presence of the Panel Experts and its co-authors, with the CEO, Mr. Pawan Agarwal doing the honors. Joining him was Mr. Amitabh Kant, CEO – NITI Aayog who inaugurated the ‘Experience Zone’ – a one-of-a-kind concept that oversees Indian Food Ecosystem. It uses technology like Virtual and Augmented Reality to observe the journey of Food Safety Regulations over the course of time, how Food safety is a shared responsibility of all Food stakeholders and the incorporation of children in the training on FSSAI Regulations.
The Orange Book is divided into three sections. The first section [Framework for an Enabling Environment] is meant for Facility Managers /Administration. This includes measures and policies to be undertaken in a Corporate premise to ensure food safety and nutrition for everyone in the workplace. It emphasizes on at least one Food Safety Supervisor [FSS] for 25 food handlers. The FSS is in charge of the hygiene and sanitary practices at workplace. Also, the person is responsible for timely tests, audits, Food Safety strategies and regular training of the Caterers, Food Handlers and Employees.
Health and Wellness Coordinator (HWC) is another innovative concept by FSSAI under SNF, appointed to promote safe and nutritious food among the employees. The person appointed has to devise strategies and promote healthy food choices over junk food, contributing to the wellness of the employees.
The second Section [Regulatory and Compliance Requirements] is for the canteen/cafeteria establishment. It specifies best practices and guidelines recommended for the canteen establishments to ensure that the food served in the workplace, whether prepared in-house or catered from outside, is safe and wholesome. A valid license/registration, following legal requirements and Good Hygiene / Manufacturing Practices, is a must in the corporate canteens.
The third section [Safety and Nutritious Food Tips] is for the employees. It provides important dos and don’ts, useful nutrition and health tips and suggestions to empower employees to eat and stay healthy in the workplace. This can be done by making informed choices about the food they consume. It also helps to decode food labels, the concept of the food pyramid, and tips on home lunch and what it should contain.
The book as a whole gives a complete information as to how corporate entities can achieve healthy and stable lifestyle at workplace resulting in employee satisfaction. The book is a Gospel of Truth to all the corporates aiming for higher productivity.
Equinox Labs has taken the responsibility of creating awareness on The Orange Book and its infinite advantages. Ashwin Bhadri, Chief Executive Officer – Equinox Labs and the co-author of the document, has contributed immensely considering the imperativeness of healthy employees to the growth of the company.
* Ashwin Bhadri, CEO, Equinox Labs, was one of the writers and contributor for this book exclusively designed for corporates