New Delhi [India], December 15 (ANI): On the behest of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), the Quality Council of India (QCI) has come out with a recognition scheme for approval of hygiene rating audit agencies to scale up the hygiene rating, an official statement said here on Tuesday.
Through the recognition scheme, QCI aims to increase the number of recognised such agencies in the country.
A Ministry of Commerce and Industry release said the recognised hygiene rating audit agencies will be responsible for "verifying the compliance with food hygiene and safety procedures laid by FSSAI and get hygiene rating."
Under the FSSAI's initiative of 'Food Hygiene Rating Scheme' (a certification system for food businesses supplying food directly to consumers, either on or off-premise), the food establishments are rated based on food hygiene and safety conditions observed at the time of audit. The hygiene rating will be in the form of smileys (1 up to 5) and the certificate should be displayed prominently in the consumer-facing area.
"The scheme aims to allow consumers to make informed choices and decisions pertaining to the food outlets where they eat by encouraging food businesses to improve their hygiene and safety standards. Currently, this scheme is applicable for food service establishments (such as hotels, restaurants, cafeteria, dhabhas), sweet shops, bakeries and meat retail stores. The recognised hygiene rating audit agency will verify the compliance with food hygiene and safety procedures laid by FSSAI," the release said.
Arun Singhal, CEO, FSSAI said hygiene rating scheme can be instrumental in creating awareness amongst the consumers and developing a culture of self-compliance amongst food business operators.
"It will improve quality of food supply and increase demand as well. I urge all eligible food businesses to implement Hygiene Rating Scheme in their premises," he said.
Adil Zainulbhai, Chairman, QCI emphasised that hygiene rating and its recognition scheme is an excellent initiative of FSSAI and QCI, and will help in improving the confidence of the Indian consumer and food service operators in the basic hygiene and quality of the food.
QCI is an autonomous body of Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, government of India which has been created jointly with Indian industry represented by Confederation of Indian Industry, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry and Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry. The main objectives of QCI are-- to establish and operate national accreditation structure and to monitor and administer the National Quality Campaign.
The FSSAI lays down science-based standards for articles of food and to regulate their manufacture, storage, distribution, sale and import to ensure availability of safe and wholesome food for human consumption. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India is the Administrative Ministry for the implementation of FSSAI. (ANI)