Recognizing State’s efforts on Food Safety front, the Health & Family Welfare Ministry, Government of India on the World Food Safety day, bestowed Punjab with the ‘Certificate of Achievement’, informed KS Pannu Commissioner Food and Drug Administration Punjab after receiving the Certificate from the Union Health & Family Welfare Minister in New Delhi.
He said that the Certificate has been given to Punjab for achieving the status of one of the States which are catching up in State Food Safety Index(SFSI) in recognition of their overall performance on various parameters of food safety during the assessment period April 1, 2018 to March 31, 2019.
Much to the pride of all Amritsaris and Punjabis, the Golden Temple Street, Amritsar has been declared as the State’s First ‘Clean Street Food Hub’ by FSSAI Govt of India.
Divulging into the efforts that went behind creating the Clean Street Food Hub, Pannu said that Food and Drug Control
Administration Punjab identified the street food hub located near Golden Temple Amritsar for the award of clean street food hub. Tourists from India and abroad visit Golden temple on daily basis, so it was agreed that food vendors on this street need to be trained and hygiene standards should be upgraded.
Thereafter, the initial survey was conducted by Food Safety Awareness and Training Organisation(FSATO) and District Administration in March this year and this street was identified due to high footfall. This was followed by a pre-audit survey of the street by Food Drug Administration Punjab along with DNV GL and FSATO.
At the time of pre audit many deficiencies and gaps were identified. Consequently, for improvement of gaps identified, training of food vendors was conducted by FSATO with special attention on areas where improvement was required. Later, the final assessment of declaring it as Clean Street Food Hub was conducted jointly by the team of FSSAI and DNV GL against the parameters set by Food Safety and Standards Authority of India. As per final audit report submitted to Food Commissioner Punjab, it was recommended that food street near Golden temple meets 85% of the specified benchmarks of basic hygiene and sanitary requirements and hence can be awarded as Clean Street Food Hub. So, FSSAI recognised Golden Temple Street as Punjab’s 1st Clean Street Food Hub, informed Pannu.
This street from Sri Darbar Sahib leading to Jallianwalla bagh which has been given Clean Street Food Hub Award by FSSAI has approximately 25 Street food vendors serving cuisines like Amritsari Kulcha ,Samosa Chaat, Khoya Kulfi and other specialities of typical Punjabi Dhabas.
Congratulating the entire Punjab Food Safety team and thanking them for their untiring efforts to achieve this feat, Pannu said food safety is of prime importance for the well-being and health of people. We are leaving no stone unturned for ensuring good quality food for people. We are focused on implementing the latest and the best standards of food safety in the State. He said that this is the first Clean Street Food Hub in the State but we will create more and more Clean Food Hubs all across Punjab.
The entire funding for training was supported by Ms Ramita Mehta Deol, MD Nector Food Group, UK . On declaration of the street as Clean Street food Hub, Ms Ramita Mehta Deol said,” When the concept was shared with us, I was very excited to be part of it. Today, we have achieved a milestone, Punjab’s first clean street food hub. I am thankful to Food Commissioner Punjab and his team to make this happen. We will support the creation of more clean street food hubs across Punjab.
Food Safety Awareness And Training Organisation(FSATO), registered training and hygiene rating partner, carried out training and implementation part.