Veena George | Photo: Facebook
Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government has made health cards mandatory for all employees of establishments related to the preparation, distribution and sale of food in the state, from February 1 onwards.
"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.
Although employees are supposed to have health cards as per the food safety guidelines, it had not been compulsory till now. However, with the current rule, hotel employees must possess health cards issued by medical officers.
Earlier, the government had taken drastic measures to ensure hygiene in hotels after several cases of suspected food poisoning cases were reported in the state.
As per the current order, the staff should visit a doctor and conduct necessary tests to find whether the person has any contagious diseases or ailments.
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.