A three-day interface on ‘Food Safety and Public Health’ that began at the Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University’s (KVASU) headquarters at Pookode on Monday highlighted the significance of maintaining personal hygiene and food safety in hotels and resorts in the State.
The programme has been organised by the Centre for One Health, Education, Advocacy, Research and Training (COHEART) under the Directorate of Entrepreneurship, KVASU, for food safety officials, public health scientists, hoteliers and resort owners. The programme envisaged developing a sustainable platform for interaction of all the stakeholders involved in the food industry and public health sectors.
While handling a session on need-based issues in food safety and mandates of Food Safety Standards Act (FSSA), P.K. Aleyamma, Food Safety Officer, Kozhikode, said though the food processing industry was growing at a rate of 18-20 per cent a year in the country, many a hotelier was yet to give importance to maintaining hygiene in the hotel kitchen.
In many instances, Food Safety Officers have found unhygienic conditions in hotel kitchens during surprise inspections. Hoteliers should train the workers, especially those involved in food production and servicing, on personal hygiene and food safety, Ms. Aleyamma said.
T.P. Sethumadhavan, Director of Entrepreneurship, KVASU, suggested that while the country was looking for clean air and clean water, it was the need of the hour to provide safe food to the consumers as envisaged in the FSSA . Hoteliers should verify infrastructure, safety of raw materials and the processes to assess safety of food.