[box type=”shadow” ]As the national regulator, FSSAI has over the years put in place food safety standards for food producers and distributors to follow. More often, Food Business Operators fail to maintain the standard hygiene practices at their premises. FDA’s role has been to monitor FBOs and ensure that the right sanitary & hygiene practices are being followed at their premises. Dr Krishna Methekar, Food Safety Officer at Food and Drug Administration, Maharashtra, lists down the standards to be followed under the revised laws.[/box]
The standards are defined by schedule-4 (Regulation 2.1.2) of Food Safety & Standards (Licensing & Registration of Food Business) Regulations 2011, include the following:
- Sanitary and hygienic requirements for food manufacturer / processor / handler
- General requirements on hygienic and sanitary practices to be followed by all food business operators applying for license
- Specific hygienic and sanitary practices to be followed by food business operators engaged in manufactureing, processing, storing and selling of milk, milk products, meat and meat products.
Good Manufacturing Practices
The rules apply to rooms where food is prepared. There will be no smoke nuisance in the food preparation area. Wherever cooking or frying of any kind is being done, a chimney having appropriate suction capacity as per the size of the kitchen has to be installed prior to start of business.
Hand washing facilities and toilets
- Adequate number of wash-hand basins made of porcelain / stainless steel shall be provided along with soap to wash hands, with hot and cold running water, and materials for cleaning hands and drying them hygienically. Clean and dry towels shall be kept for the use of customers.
- Separate sinks must be provided, where necessary, for washing raw food and cleaning equipment.
- Sinks with a draining board, detergent and hot water shall be provided to ensure proper cleaning of utensils, crockery and cutlery there will be a separate place for washing pots and pains.
Facilities for staff to change their clothes, must be provided.
Good Food Hygiene Practices
Cleaning: Food areas and equipment between different tasks, especially after handling raw food shall be cleaned. The surface must be thoroughly cleaned in case if somebody spills food / water / drink.A systematic cleaning schedule and instructions has to be developed by the FBO.
Food handlers should strictly follow the systematic cleaning schedule to make sure that surfaces and shop-floor equipment are cleaned when they need to be.
The schedule includes
- what needs to be cleaned
- how often it needs to be cleaned, and
- how the cleaning should be done
Cleaning instructions should indicate
- what cleaning products should be used
- how the products should be stored (away from raw, cooked, packed food) and used
- how much consumables should be used or diluted and how long that should be left in contact with the surface (following the manufacturer’s instructions)