Mumbai, June 25, 2015: The Hotel and Restaurant Association Western India (HRAWI) has backed the Health Ministry’s proposal to the Union Cabinet for revamping the food regulatory structure in the country. In a recent communication, the association has asked its members to be fully co-operative with the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and expedite completing the process of seeking conversions and renewals for existing license or registration.

The health Ministry has sent a Rs 1,700-crore proposal to the Union Cabinet for a major overhaul of the food regulatory structure. The objectives of the proposal are to strengthen the states’ inspection apparatus, bolster the FSSAI’s manpower, give the FSSAI more powers and ensure that the authority has access to state-of-the-art technology.
 
“The HRAWI has always been a proactive institution when it comes to adopting safety and hygiene standards in the industry. We have always worked as a partner with the government in the interest of hospitality and tourism in the country. There is a big need to reform the regulatory structure because inconsistencies in food safety and standards are serious issues and if not addressed, will negatively affect the image of tourism in the long run. We fully back the Health Ministries’ proposal and wish to assert its importance to the Union Cabinet,” says Mr. Bharat Malkani, President, HRAWI.
 
The FSSAI has assigned August 4th, 2015 as the deadline for obtaining Food Business Operator (FBO)’s license for all food businesses, from roadside eateries to restaurants. The deadline is applicable for FBOs seeking conversions and renewals for existing license or registration under a repealed order.
 
“We are grateful to the FSSAI to have given FBOs time to comply with the required standards in order to obtain the licenses. It is a herculean task to incorporate the changes in procedures and protocols but we understand the need for it and are doing everything it takes to meet the deadline,” adds Mr. Malkani.
 
“In fact to carry out due diligence at the primary level, we have set up a non-commercial food testing laboratory in Vadodara that follows global standards of food safety and hygiene. This benefits thousands of FBOs including bakery federations, catering associations, food retail traders and mithaiwala associations, among others in testing their products. This arrangement provides the kind of service that also helps hoteliers maintain standardised practices and helps keep up with the standards required to be maintained by the food authorities. The end objective is to ensure that there is no negligence with regards to food safety and hygiene. We hope to achieve this standard across the country and will support the food authority in this endeavour,” concludes Mr. Malkani. CCI Newswire

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