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No Delhi belly, please

delhi Updated: Oct 14, 2009 00:20 IST
Atul Mathur
Atul Mathur
Hindustan Times
commonwealth games

It is not just roads, flyovers and stadiums that need overhauling before the Games.

With over a lakh (100,000) visitors expected during the Games, Delhi needs to have good eating joints as well.

The quality wing of Confederation of Indian industry (CII), a voluntary industrial body, has decided to conduct an audit of various eateries across the capital. This would enable CII to help food businesses identify the gaps and maintain better hygiene.

“We would judge these eateries on parameters like maintenance and cleanliness, personal cleanliness of the staff, pest control, sewage and garbage disposal, food packaging, storage and water quality,” said Sarita Nagpal, deputy director general — CII.

“We are even ready to train the staff in hygiene, safety and quality.”

Nagpal said they have prepared a food safety rating matrix on which several street food vendors, small eateries and restaurants would be assessed and rated. This matrix, said Nagpal, is based on the criteria for audit of food establishments laid down by the government’s food safety and standard authority.

According to Nagpal, there would be 830 big and small eateries around the Commonwealth Games Village and several Games’ venues.

Since most foreigners would depend on affordable food and would like to binge on assorted Indian cuisines, small eating joints and street food hawkers would be most in demand.

“Our experience says personal hygiene and cleanliness of surroundings are not given due importance by people working in these eateries. Foreign visitors falling ill after consuming something unhygienic is the last thing the government would want,” said a CII functionary.

The CII had conducted a survey of small restaurants and permanent eating joints in the vicinity of four Games’ venues.

“Though the infrastructure of most joints was satisfactory, most places had overflowing garbage bins with houseflies all around, poor personal hygiene of food handlers and waiters, and raw material stacked in an unorganised way,” Nagpal said.