The national food regulator issued an order making it mandatory for all food businesses – caterers, manufacturers, companies transporting food items and retail outlets – with 25 or more people handling food to have at least one trained ‘food safety supervisor’.
The food safety management helps restaurants, cafés, takeaways and other small catering businesses comply with food hygiene regulations so that business can keep and complete records.
The supervisor would have to be trained under the Food Safety Training and Certification Programme (FoSTaC), designed by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). The supervisors would be responsible for ensuring that food quality is maintained, however, legally the owners would be responsible for lapses.
“It would be mandatory for all food businesses having Central Licence or State License to have at least one trained and certified Food Safety Supervisor for every 25 food handlers or part thereof on all their premises,” the order read.
“Currently, we have written to the state food safety officers to gauge how much time it will take to train the food safety supervisors. Once done, we will make it mandatory for the big licensed food businesses to have these trained supervisors,” said Pawan Agarwal, chief executive officer of FSSAI.
It would be made mandatory for even the small food business operators (FBOs) in a year or two after the ‘required number of supervisors is trained and a proper framework is in place, he added.
The order says, “All the states/ union territories are now advised to initiate a special drive to take up and facilitate FoSTaC for licensed FBOs under their respective jurisdiction immediately. The above training is too be made mandatory in phases over the next two years.”
The training will be provided by large food business operators that have partnered with the FSSAI, academic and vocational institutes, training partners approved under the Skill Development Councils and Missions, scientific and technology associations and civil society organisations.
source: Hindustan Times