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Amdavadis, now you can make sure the food you eat is worth your money. Before placing an order at your favorite restaurant this Diwali, ask them about their hygiene rating.
Independent auditors attached to the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) performed the rating process. Here is how to proceed: after having classified the restaurants on the basis of several key parameters following a voluntary audit requested by the restaurant owners, they are rated from 5 stars (best) to 1 star according to their performance.
The five main parameters are design and facilities, operational control: safe handling practices, maintenance and sanitation, personal hygiene of food handlers, and training and record keeping. These major parameters have a total of 48 sub-parameters to follow, each carrying a number of points on which the restaurant is rated.
Those who manage to get only 0-20 points are rated 1 star, from 21 to 40 get 2 stars, 41-60 points restaurants get 3 stars, 61-80 points get 4 stars and those with the best performance, the scoring over 80 points for the perfect 100, receive a 5-star rating.
According to state records, a total of 4,100 restaurants applied for and were subsequently independently audited by the Gujarat Food and Drug Control Authority (FDCA) under the umbrella of FSSAI. However, only 750 restaurants requested the voluntary audit in Ahmedabad. Vadodara leads the state with the highest number of restaurants audited with 1,386.
Only 750 restaurants opt for city rating
Of the more than 8,000 large and small food businesses in Ahmedabad, only 750 restaurants have so far opted for a voluntary hygiene assessment in Ahmedabad. The results of 508 restaurants are ready with the Gujarat FDCA.
However, in Ahmedabad, only 47 restaurants were awarded 5 stars, which is barely 9% of the total. These mainly only include large national and international retail chains, with the exception of a few local food companies. The maximum number of restaurants, 411, received a 4-star rating. No less than 43 restaurants have obtained 3 stars, while seven have obtained 2 stars. Fortunately, none of the restaurants audited so far have been bad enough to receive only one star.
Gujarat FDCA Commissioner Dr Hemant Koshia said: âCurrently the system is voluntary, but we are still planning to make it mandatory. Currently, when a restaurant wishes to have an audit carried out, it can request it. The government will pay the fees of Rs 1400 to the auditor. It’s a win-win situation for restaurateurs. They can post a good rating and if they need improvement, the audit will let them know what is wrong with their business.
Asked about the importance of the ratings, Dr Koshia said, âAccording to the parameters set by the FSSAI, those in the range of four and five stars work very well. Those with 3 star ratings are acceptable but the ratings can be improved. However, those who have only obtained a 2-star rating absolutely need to improve their working conditions and the quality of their food.
The main problems identified by the FDCA in this initiative are unsanitary working conditions, outdated food, lack of personal hygiene of staff and lack of health check-ups, among other factors that could lead to health problems for the diners. .
Narendra Somani, President of the Gujarat Restaurants and Hotels Association, said: âThis program was launched just before the pandemic, which affected the food industry as well as the administration that handled the regulation of drugs. “
Somani added: âThere is also a lack of awareness and some irrational fear of what will happen if the restaurant is audited. This fear must be eliminated with awareness campaigns and a gradual normalization in the business which will hopefully happen after Diwali. “
Restaurants that have opted for rating
FSDB rule is not yet applied
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) sent a letter to all states on September 19, 2018 to enforce the practice of installing Food Safety Notice Boards (FSDBs) in restaurants after discovering that ‘They did not adhere to Section III of the Food Safety and Standards Amending Regulations 2018 (Food Business License and Registration), which came into effect on February 18, 2018.
Mirror had reported roughly the same on October 15, 2018.
However, three years later, the rule, which helps diners check restaurant food safety ratings and helps them complain to the FSSAI, is still not enforced.