Food safety authority to make sure the premises are healthy and user-friendly

Cheers! There’s good news for tipplers from the Tamil Nadu Food Safety and Drug Administration Department.

The department has planned to ask owners of bars attached to the State-run Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation (TASMAC) to clean the premises so that they are healthy and user-friendly.

According to R. Kathiravan, Designated Officer, Coimbatore, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), the office will soon write to the authority concerned in TASMAC in Coimbatore in this regard.

The FSSAI’s clean-up operation is likely to begin soon after the TASMAC authorities float tenders and issue orders to contractors to run bars for the next licence period of one year. This is likely to happen in the next couple of months.

“The FSSAI is working in association with the TASMAC to ensure that the contractors abide by the hygiene norms just as they confirm to the contract conditions,” he says.

TASMAC runs 305 liquor retail outlets and has let on contract 278 bars in the district.

Registration

The bars are bound to come under the purview of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India as per the new Food Safety and Standards Regulation, 2011. Establishments that deal with food will have to register with the FSSAI if their annual turnover is less than Rs. 12 lakh, or obtain a licence if their turnover is above Rs. 12 lakh.

Dr. Kathiravan says that as per the Regulation the bars should have floors and walls that are easily washable, adequate ventilation and lighting, sufficient space for free movement, separate smoking area, spittoons, washbasins and toilets, pest control measures, safe storage space for raw materials and disinfected floors.

Further, the bars should serve food (vegetarian and non-vegetarian) that is free of colouring agents, provision for proper disposal of solid and liquid wastes, provide disposable plates and tumblers, supply safe drinking water, which if packed should bear ISI label, store prepared food in covered containers and serve packed foods that follow labelling rules as per FSSAI standards, Dr. Kathiravan said.

Regulation

The move by FSSAI to regulate bars are part of its strategy to bring into its fold government-run establishments that deal with food and these include fair price shops run by both the Cooperative and Civil Supplies Departments.

Dr. Kathiravan says that the FSSAI has also written to the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department to register temples that provide annadhanam.