Food Safety Dept introduces stringent guidelines to reopen closed eateries

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Haripad: The state food safety commissioner has been granted permission to give nod to open the closed eateries following inspections by the Food Safety department. Earlier, the food safety officers in each constituency gave nod to reopen closed eateries with the approval of the assistant commissioners of the respective districts.

The new guidelines were released on Saturday in view of grave violations of food safety norms detected in many eateries recently. Several restaurants were closed last week citing unhygienic kitchens and use of rotten fish and meat.

When the eatery owners submit application for reopening the outlets after rectifying the violations, the officials have to visit the eateries to grant permissions to open. In several instances, permissions were accorded without conducting proper inspections under political pressure. The food safety commissioner’s new guidelines assert that no such practices would be allowed anymore.

Limitations in food safety inspections

Each office of food safety department function at all the 140 constituencies in Kerala. The procedures of registration of the eateries are carried out from here, while the licences are disbursed at the district-level offices. The employees in these offices complain over the shortage of staff and vehicles to conduct regular inspections at outlets registered under it. Only one vehicle has been allotted to four or five offices in the state under the condition not to cover over 2000 kilometres a month.

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