KOZHIKODE: The flash raids on eateries and snack manufacturing units separately conducted by food safety officials and corporation health department continued on Thursday. The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) officials conducted surprise inspections at seven snack manufacturing units and have ordered temporary closure of four. They have also served rectification notices on two others.
Kozhikode Municipal Corporation health officials conducted raids on nearly 50 food units including Government Medical College premises and Beach Road. All the roadside eateries along the Beach Road have got closure notice. The searches will continue in coming days. Food safety assistant commissioner P.K. Aleyamma said strict action would be taken against food business units not following safety standards.
“Many of the units where we have conducted raids revealed extreme unhygienic conditions,” she told DC. “We have made the food unit owners to sign on a 14-point guideline which they should implement to open their units again.” The corporation health squad conducted raids on nearly 30 hotels and served rectification notice.
On Medical College premises also they conducted raids and ordered the closure of one street food joint near IMCH after officials found gross violations of food safety rules. “We have also ordered the closure of all street side food joints along Beach Road until the corporation council took a further decision,” said its health officer-in-charge M.M. Vijayan. The drinking water supplying tanks and the residential camps of migrant labourers were also checked by the health inspectors of the civic body.
Kerala Consumer Association, which welcomed the move, said corporation health department should involve in the food safety drive more actively. “The FSSAI alone cannot handle the unhygienic practices prevailing in the eateries. The corporation health wing should be more alert and involved in regular inspections,” said its general secretary Salam Vellayil.
Quality examination of water mandatory for eateries
The FSSAI officials have directed all hotels and eateries in the district to hang water test certificates in their respective outlets. Weekly tests on water they use are also mandatory to avoid contamination. Food safety assistant commissioner P.K. Aleyamma said norms of Food Safety and Standards Authority of India require hotels and restaurants and hospital and hostel messes and other establishments supplying food to maintain a register on suppliers of water.
“It is terrible that many eateries are reportedly using contaminated water that can lead to several diseases,” she said. “Recently health department reported the outbreak of diarrhoea in the district and a major factor for it is the dependence on hotel food. Hence we made frequent water quality tests mandator, she added.”