Last date to apply for registration certificate and licence is February 4, says official

Over 12,000 food business units in Madurai district are yet to register their names under the Food Safety Act even as the last date of February 4 is fast approaching.

All food business operators have been asked to complete the process before the last date to avoid penalty thereafter. Hotels, eateries, roadside food vendors, grocery shops, departmental stores selling food items and also the chicken/fish stalls need to adhere to the guidelines of the Act which is aimed at ‘safe food for people.’

J. Suguna, Designated Officer for Food Safety, Madurai district, told The Hindu on Wednesday that there are totally 18,000 business units dealing in food sector in the district and all of them must follow the procedures.

The registration is done in two categories at the Food Safety Wing in the office of the Deputy Director of Health Services at Viswanathapuram in the city. While those having an annual turnover of up to Rs.12 lakh are issued registration certificate, the food business units whose earnings are more than Rs.12 lakh are issued license to operate.

However, so far, out of the total number of 18,000 food traders, only less than 6,000 units in both categories put together, have registered their particulars with the food safety officials.

“We are focusing on urban and rural areas and we expect the remaining 12,000 food business operators-big and small- to complete their process by February 4,” she said.

Dr. Suguna has also appealed to associations and chambers of commerce to tell the traders to go for registration as per requirements.

The inspection and registration monitoring process is being done at the field level by 26 Food Safety Officers in the district. Food safety teams are visiting various places to create awareness on the importance of Food Safety and Standards Act.

Officials are also planning to conduct ‘Food License Mela’ in Madurai on January 20 where spot registration can be done by concerned persons. The venue for holding this mela would be finalised soon and once the registration formality is completed, the traders can go for annual renewal. Registration is required for government hostels, rationshops, warehouses and ‘prasadam’ making units. Those who want more details about registration can contact Designated Officer for Food Safety Dr. Suguna on mobile umber: 98423-03625.

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