NEW DELHI: Cracking the whip on government canteens operating in unhygienic conditions, the Centre has made it mandatory for them to obtain licence from Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). The move would make it binding for over 1,350 canteens to get the licence to carry on with the business of preparing and selling foods.
The direction has come from the Ministry of Personnel, stating that canteens are required to comply with statutory framework for manufacturing, storage, distribution and sale of food so as to ensure its safety.
“All departmental canteens, tiffin rooms, etc, housed in various offices of central government, are accordingly required to obtain licences to be able to continue to manufacture and sell food,” it said.
Seeking licence would make it binding for government canteens to maintain the standard of food as the lack of it has often been a cause of consternation among the users of such canteens. Scenes of untidy corners, filth and lack of attention to clean the waste are replete in the canteens across the country.
It is the responsibility of respective managing committees to register or obtain licence under provisions of Food Safety and Standards (Licensing and Registration of Food Businesses) Regulations, 2011. The concerned officers may please get in touch with FSSAI for implementation of Food Safety and Standards (FSS) Act, 2006, the Ministry said in a recent order issued to all central government departments.
As per FSS Act, no person shall commence or carry on any food business except under a licence. Currently, 1,352 registered canteens and tiffin rooms are functioning in various offices of the central government all over India.
However, the direction has remained silent on government run canteens in educational institutions which also operate under unhealthy conditions, putting the health of thousand of students at stake.