Hygiene first -- that’s the government’s mantra for food joint owners in the run up to the Commonwealth Games. The famous paranthe walas in the by-lanes of Chandni Chowk should be worried, for food safety, more than lip-smacking taste, will decide which shops find a place in the government’s directory of 1,000 recommended eating places.
This will be the first time that the Indian government publishes a food guide for tourists visiting Delhi. In all, 1,000 eating places – small and mid-size -- will be identified all over the city in partnership with the Delhi government.
The idea is to ensure that tourists have a happy and healthy stay in the Capital, minus the infamous ‘Delhi belly’.
“Standards of safety and hygiene would be developed and training would be imparted through professional agencies,” says Dr Yoganand Shastri, Delhi’s Minister for Health. “The process to shortlist eating places is yet to begin,” he adds.
According to the initial outline submitted by Food Safety and Standards Authority, both Indian and international cuisines—Chinese, Italian and Thai -- will be included to cater to the varied tastes of international visitors.
In a recent meeting of the Authority, it was decided that the short-listed shops would be assisted in improving their standards of hygiene and safety to the specified levels.
Subsequently, they would be audited and certified to be of the required standards. The certified establishments would display a symbol for easy recognition.
To ensure that the quality of food is maintained even outside the Capital, especially in the more popular tourist destinations, a similar scheme would be devised for them soon.