Those engaged in food business in its various forms should adhere to the food safety practices, said Kumar Jayanth, Commissioner, Food Safety, Government of Tamil Nadu, at a workshop in Coimbatore on Sunday.
Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry had joined hands with the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) to conduct the workshop.
There was a necessity to regulate the food trade because it was one of the fast developing areas, where big and small players were involved. The regulation was similar to what the government did to the telecom, insurance and cable TV sectors, he said.
The department had come out with a detailed guideline on what those in food business should do. It had issued the guideline sector-wise. At one go, the traders may not be able to implement all that had been said in the guidelines. They should at least start with those that were easy to implement and did not involve much of investment.
The objective of bringing in the guideline was to ensure that the public enjoyed good, safe food.
In this regard, those in food business should ensure that they use potable water for consumption, avoid reusing the water they used for washing utensils and shun the habit of reusing cooking oil.
To the manufacturers of labelled food products, Mr. Jayanth said that they should clearly indicate if the food had non-vegetarian ingredients or not. “Placing a small green or red dot on the packet will not cost you much.”
D. Srinivasan, Managing Director, Annapoorna Hotels, said that certain provisions like supplying chemical-free food was difficult to abide by because farmers used chemicals and pesticides and that owners of restaurants could do nothing about it.
He also said that they were dependent on ground water for their needs and any pollution in the water would impact their business. Small establishments like tea shop could install water treatment facilities, he said and sought “more practical” provisions in the guidelines.
Karuppaiah, president, Mobile Food Vendors Association, urged the association members to join hands with the department officials to implement the food safety act.
Collector M. Karunagaran, M. Krishnan, Chairman and Managing Director of Sri Krishna Sweets, K. Jayakumar, Additional Commissioner, Food Safety, and others participated.