Now you can expect better hygiene practices and food quality from chat-sellers and other street food hawkers.
This is because the Food And Drugs Administration (FDA) is organising continuous workshops on hygiene standards to train all street food hawkers.
Street food hawkers will be taught the importance of maintaining basic hygiene through demonstrations by a chef from a renowned hotel and certified food auditors.
Before the new act on food safety is introduced in August, training sessions are being carried out to ensure food standards.
According to the new rules, FDA can penalise food manufacturers, retailers and hawkers if they are found not maintaining proper hygiene and basic standards.
The first phase of the workshop for hawkers will be conducted by the end of June. A similar training for business traders and manufacturers was held earlier.
“We carried out a survey at places like Juhu beach and Chowpatty beach where hawkers are more in numbers. We collected details about their hygiene practices and the quality of food ingredients they use. They can’t afford much but basic hygiene can be maintained,” said an FDA official requesting anonymity.
“Simply informing the hawkers about the rules wouldn’t have helped. They should be educated about the importance of hygiene. Demonstrations will help them understand the simple tips,” said Suresh Deshmukh, assistant commissioner, Food, Greater Mumbai.
The hawkers will be asked to use hand gloves, liquid soap for cleaning vessels and hands, napkins, etc. “We need to make the hawkers understand that this training would help their business, as hygienic food practices will attract more customers,” said the official.
“Once started, we will continue holding sessions as and when we have people keen to learn. It may not be always possible to call experts so college students and our officials will continue the training after some expert sessions,” added the official. SNDT University and its students have come ahead for this task.
A model workshop will be first held in Mumbai and then in the other six divisions of FDA including Pune, Nagpur and others.