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Adimali: Complaints were lodged regarding issuing 'health cards' to hotel employees in Idukki district.
It is alleged that government doctors are willing to issue health cards by flouting the guidelines put forward by the food safety department.
Earlier, the state health department made health cards mandatory for all employees of food units from February 1 onwards. However, questions are raised over how doctors issue health cards to hotel staff in the state.
It is alleged that some doctors accept Rs 200 in fees to issue health cards even if hotel staff do not appear before the doctor in person.
Earlier, the government took drastic measures to ensure hygiene in hotels after several cases of suspected food poisoning were reported in the state. Based on this, an order was released to make health cards mandatory for hotel staff.
Food establishments with employees, who do not have health cards, will be forced to shut down,” said Health Minister Veena George after issuing the order.
“Medical fitness certificates should be kept at the establishments. Strict action will be taken against those who issue and carry fake certificates,” she added.
As per the order, the staff should visit a doctor and conduct necessary tests to find whether the person has any contagious diseases or ailments. The doctors should also conduct various tests before issuing the health card.
Further, medical officers should examine test results before issuing health cards to the individual in person. Also, the restaurant employees must undergo food safety training within two weeks.
An affidavit to register for hygiene rating should also be produced within one month.
However, it is now alleged that doctors are issuing health cards in Idukki flouting several norms. It is worth noting that staff working in eateries in the district are migrant workers.
Many lack proper identity cards or documents to submit for health cards. As a result, hotel owners are bribing doctors to issue fake health cards.