Food Safety authorities plan to tighten rules this Onam

Street vendors trading food items this Onam season without completing the registration formalities will have to face the music as the Food Safety authorities plan to tighten the rules of the sector.

Checking will shortly begin in the district to find out such illegal traders. Items used for trade will be seized besides the legal actions.

The vigil is tightened mainly to avoid the chance of food poisoning and the distribution of contaminated items during the festival season. Both the manufacturers and the distributors in such instances will be pulled up for unregistered trading.

Officials warn that the rule will be applicable for all products circulated in the name of various worship centres during the festival seasons.

“We have noticed the mushrooming of wayside food vendors without any valid registration and food safety measures. This has to be controlled for health reasons,” says a senior officer attached to the Food Safety Department.

He says only through a proper registration, the department will be able to identify the genuine traders and ban the unhygienic players.

The tightening of rule will mainly lock out the flooding number of migrant vendors who occupy the streets during festive seasons with their products manufactured in unknown locations and often using unhygienic contents.

No details

Many a time, no manufacturer details, product labels, and contents are given on the product wrap.

The manufacturers also enjoy an easy escape when their product causes some health hazards to the consumers.

As per the new instruction, all short-term and seasonal traders will have to obtain prior registration from the officer of the Chief Food Safety Officer.

Fake products

The rule is enforced as per the Food Safety and Standards Act-2006.

It will also trace vendors who deal with fake products altering the brand name of big companies and established groups.

Though the tightening of regulations is mainly aimed at unhygienic migrant vendors, the natives vendors, who have been dealing with the trade of food items for a long time, are also likely to be pulled up for not having registrations. So far, many of them have been enjoying a good income without any registration formalities.

Jamsheer Mohammed, a native food vendor on Kozhikode beach, says the registration formalities have been tightened mainly to grab a portion of their meagre income for unwanted technicalities.

“In the name of rules, they will conduct searches among the poor traders like us and as a result, several of us will have to find other business options for gaining something during this festival season,” he rues.

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