Very soon, the pav bhaaji you eat at Chowpatti, the jhal moori you munch at Park Street and the golguppas you put in your mouth. The vendor who serves you chaat will use a standardised cart sporting a logo which says he has been accredited by the government, which has examined his fare and is satisfied that it meets a minimum standard of hygiene.
P.V. Suvrathan, secretary, Ministry of Food Processing Industries, told HT that a pilot project enforcing BIS norms on food sold on the street would soon be launched in eight cities, including Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata.
Targeting 6,000 street food vendors in each city initially, the project aims to cover vendors across India in phases.
The BIS has developed basic guidelines for hygiene, which vendors are expected to maintain. Since illiteracy, poverty and lack of familiarity with government procedures are a big hurdle for the vendors, NGOs are being roped in to assist them in getting accreditation.
“The NGOs will teach vendors how to wash their hands properly, how to clean used plates and spoons thoroughly, and to ensure that the water they use for cooking and cleaning is not contaminated,” said Suvrathan.
They will also explain the standardisation process to vendors, and see to it that they comply with the levels of hygiene required. It will then help them file their applications for accreditation.
The BIS norms will specify size — diameter and thickness — of golguppas and tikkis, the quality of masala and raw ingredients used in their preparation.
The standardisation will also deal with arrangements for waste disposal. “Only after these standards are met will a vendor be able to get accreditation,” said Suvrathan.
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