Commissioner, FDA asks FBOs to avail benefits of this Rating scheme
SRINAGAR: Five Sweets Shops in Kashmir Division have been awarded Hygiene Rating Certificates by Food Safety & Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). The rating of these Food Business Operators (FBOs) was awarded after Third Party Audit was conducted by FSSAI approved Food Safety Audit Agency, in collaboration with Food & Drugs Administration (FDA), J&K, in the year 2020.
Four Sweets Shops, AAR GEE Sweets, M/s Taj Bakers, M/s New Janta Bakery and M/s Shakti Sweets have been awarded with Excellent Compliance Rating, while as M/s New Mughal Darbar has been awarded with very Good Compliance Rating.
Speaking on this occasion, Commissioner, FDA, J&K, Shakeel Ur Rehman, said that the assessment of 30 more Food Business Establishments which include 20 meat shops is under process. He said that it is the privilege of the consumer to demand safe and hygienic food. He further said that the department is collaborating with FSSAI under MOU for 2021-22, to initiate the special awareness drives on this program across all the districts.
In the current financial year 800 FBOs are expected to be registered under this scheme. For this purpose, a comprehensive Action Plan has been devised by the department and has nominated Nodal Officers for each division of the J&K for its all inclusive implementation.
The Commissioner said that it is a win-win scheme for every stakeholder as a whole because improved hygiene standards mean fewer instances of food-borne illnesses. He advised all the FBOs falling in the category of cafes, fine diners, restaurants and other eating-places, sweet shops, bakeries and meat shops to opt for this voluntary scheme and avail its benefits.
Hygiene Rating is a voluntary scheme that encourages food businesses to ensure high standards of hygiene and sanitation and allows consumers to make informed food choices. This scheme is currently applicable to restaurants, cafes, fine diners, restaurants and other eating-places, sweet shops, bakeries and meat shops.
It is a technology-driven, user-friendly scheme where food establishments are given a rating on a scale of 1-5, displayed in the form of symbols (Smileys), where 5 indicates Excellent Compliance and 1 indicates Poor Compliance of food hygiene and safety standards.
With this certificate, consumers can do quick check of hygiene rating when they visit any restaurant or eating place and encourage them to apply for the same.
One of the significant benefits of this scheme for the Food Business Operators is that after achieving rating, less inspections of these food establishments are held. Under this scheme, if any FBO gets hygiene rating of 3-4, no inspections will be required by the regulatory authority for a period of 6 months. Similarly, if the FBO gets hygiene rating of 4 above, no inspections will be required by the regulatory authority for a period of one year.