To increase quality standards of restaurants, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is planning to start a rating system for restaurants.
- The initiative is being launched by FSSAI, Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu.
- The system will also enable the restaurateurs to get FSSAI’s rating tag and improve their customer base.
- Ratings will be accorded in four grades – very good, good, fair, needs improvement and poor. The scores will range from zero to 100.
- The system will check for compliance in various food safety requirements that includes hygiene of the restaurants and the staff working in them, whether the restaurant is registered with the FSSAI or not, whether the licence is being displayed at the restaurant or not, display of water test reports and food test from National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) accredited laboratories.
- It is the food business operator who initiates the hygiene rating by checking for compliance with various requirements.
- In the next step, the food safety officer will give the rating as per the compliance.
- ‘Responsible Place to Eat’ tag will be accorded to the restaurants which get very good and good ratings.
- The tag can be used by the restaurant to increase its commercial viability by updating the same in its profile with food delivery apps like Zomato, Swiggy and UberEats.
- As per other details, the restaurant should have a food safety supervisor for every 25 employees and the person should be qualified with Food Safety Training and Certification (FOSTAC) training.
- Also, the FOSTAC certificate of the supervisor must be displayed at the restaurant.
- The restaurants are also mandated to display the purple colour food safety display board that mentions the 12 golden rules of food safety.
- The hygiene ratings are not limited to restaurants alone. Any food manufacturer, retailer and supplier can undergo hygiene rating.
The initiative of the FSSAI is commendable as many restaurants in the country take hygiene lightly. The ratings will help both the consumers and restaurants. Good ratings for the restaurants will increase their profitability while the consumers can be assured of food safety at the restaurant.