A day-long inspection of food business premises

Gangtok, October 29 (IPR): A day-long surprise joint inspection of food business premises and various retail outlets in and around Ranipool was carried out today by a team of officials led by SDM Gangtok, Shri Robin Sewa.

The inspecting team comprised of Health and Family Welfare Department(Food safety & standard cell), Tourism & civil Aviation Department, Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Services Department, Gangtok Municipal Corporation, and Police Department.The team was led by SDM Gangtok under the direction of District Magistrate in a DLAC meeting held on 4th October 2021 in his chamber.

The team inspected the personal hygiene of staff, hygiene of the kitchen in relation to waste management and drainage, staff uniform, quality of equipment used inside the kitchen and the proper installation of water purifiers as per the latest Government order on restriction of plastic bottles in the state. The team further inspected the expiry dates of the products on sale as well as of those used in the kitchen.

The focus was given on pandemic control SOPs like use of thermoguns, hand sanitizers, masks and handwashing areas with hand wash installed in place etc, and establishment of green rooms for smoking in restaurants and hotels. The team also focused on FOSTAC training and mandatory certification of the owners as well as the workers. The team checked the vaccination status of the business owners and employees involved. Installation of fire extinguishers in all business premises and also display of emergency helpline numbers at the easy reach and accessibility of people were also thoroughly checked.

The business premises which were not following safety protocols were given the improvement notice and enlightened on improvement scope to avoid penalty in the subsequent visits. Likewise, establishments functioning without license were charged a penalty as per the government protocols.

Instructions were issued to use cooking oil which are properly canned, and packaged food items and confectionaries were to be labeled with date of manufacture, date of expiry and best before.

The team also cross checked the items on sale with the license, commodities on sale were to be kept within the shop jurisdiction only. Unorganised scrap materials, hoardings in unauthorised areas were to be removed.

As per the Section 5 of the COPTA which prohibits any kind of advertisement, brand promotion and sponsorship of Tobacco products the shops were prohibited from displaying the tobacco products. Shops displaying and selling such products openly were charged fine.

The team from the animal husbandry and veterinary services department focussed on the hygiene and sanitization of meat selling premises. No objection certificates given by the concerned department were checked, the meat sellers were given strict instruction on prohibition of slaughter of live birds within the selling premises. Lastly, the department emphasized on the mandatory display of updated rate boards.

The police department also fully supported the inspecting team with their presence and inputs as and when it was needed.

SDM Gangtok highlighted the importance and intention of surprise inspection as being beneficial for both the business community as well as the various sectors of Government of Sikkim involved in the inspection.

The business community welcomed the initiative taken by the inspecting team and exhibited their willingness to implement the strategies spelled by the inspecting team.

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