Food business operators in the State will get another fortnight’s time before which they will have to ensure that all their employees who handle food have a valid health card.
A statement issued by the office of the Health Minister says two weeks’ time is being allowed to food business operators to secure health cards for all their employees, considering the rush and accepting the request of the latter for more time to fulfil the requirement.
The Food Safety department will start taking action against those food business employees who do not possess health cards from February 16
Registered medical practitioners should issue health cards or medical certificates in the specific format after conducting the necessary tests.
The particulars that need to be fulfilled for the certificate include general physical examination, eye test, checks for ruling out skin diseases or wounds, vaccination status, and blood tests to rule out infectious diseases. The certificate should have the signature and seal of the registered medical practitioner and it will have a validity of one year.
The department also decided to intensify food safety inspections from February 1 across the State. Apart from Food Safety officers, health inspectors of the department will also conduct raids and check the hygiene status and health card.
A five-member special task force (intelligence) will conduct surprise raids on commercial establishments, markets and check-posts
From February 16, all food business outlets should be able to produce a registration or licence, maintain hygiene standards as under the FSSA, and send employees for food safety training. All food parcels should bear the label indicating the time of preparation and the time within which food should be consumed. Besides, raw eggs should not be used for making mayonnaise.
All food businesses should display the Food Safety wing’s toll-free number and engage a person to supervise food safety and hygiene standards.