The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has decided to enforce hygiene standards at restaurants and food outlets. A subgroup has been formed consisting of industry bodies such as the National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI), the Federation of Hotels and Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI), and the FSSAI. The decision to focus more attention on the restaurants and their safety standards was taken following a meeting in Delhi last week, which was attended by the FSSAI, FHRAI, NRAI, as well as hotel groups such as Taj, ITC, and fast food companies such as Yum!
Pawan Kumar Agarwal, Chief Executive Office, FSSAI, said that enforcing food safety standards at eating places was a must. "Hotels, restaurants and eating joints need an FSSAI licence to operate but food safety standards are not necessarily met. We wanted to get a sense of what the industry's view was on the subject and whether they were open to the idea of stringent enforcement," Agarwal said.
Considering the growing size of the food services market, the move to regulate safety standards at eateries had become a must. According to a report by Technopark and the NRAI, the food services market in India is expected to grow from Rs 247,680 crore in 2013 to Rs 408,040 crore by 2018. The five-year annual growth rate has been projected at 11 percent.
The sub-group is poised to meet in the next three weeks to propose amendments to Schedule 4 of the Food Safety and Standards Regulations, 2011, that govern hygiene standards of food service operators and providers.
“You cannot bundle a dhaba and a fine-dining or casual-dining restaurant together. There will have to be different yardsticks.”
Said NRAI Secretary-General Prakul Kumar.
Source: Business Standard