Health Dept. to rope in RWAs to check food quality

The next time you spot a pani puri wala using unhygienic water or find that the food in your school canteen is not fresh, the solution to your problem is at your fingertips, literally. All you have to do is take a photograph or a video of the food safety violation and send it on WhatsApp to the Department of Health and Family Welfare and your complaint is as good as registered.

The department has decided to work with resident welfare associations (RWAs) in the city to spread awareness about safe and unsafe food and also look into complaints pertaining to food safety. Subodh Yadav, Commissioner of the department, said active volunteers will also be given an identity card so that they are taken seriously. The department’s local officials will be given a three day deadline to attend to the complaint. Apart from flagging off the department about these complaints, citizens can also raise awareness about food safety practices among others.

The intention behind introducing the measure is to raise awareness about food safety. Mr. Yadav said that although the implementation of the Food Safety and Standards Act began in 2011, they had received very few complaints. “Currently, there is no feedback channel and the number of complaints we get are very few. The monitoring mechanism needs to be improved,” he said.

The department is also currently grappling with shortage of food inspectors in the State and has roped in taluk health officers for this task. Mr. Yadav also said letters have been written to the Deputy Commissioners asking them to take the lead in issues pertaining to food safety. They would be educated on what constitutes adulterated food, sub-standard food, unsafe food, and also educated on misleading advertisements.

RWAs have welcomed the move. Nitya Reddy, vice-president, Richmond and Langford Town Residents’ Welfare Association, termed it a much needed one. “It will be great if the Health Department ropes in RWAs as we will be able to point out to unhygienic neighbourhood eateries, restaurants, and roadside vendors. We can be in constant touch with them and help them monitor food quality.”

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Printable version | Jul 10, 2020 10:19:54 PM |

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