Voluntary Restaurant Inspections Have No Takers In India

The world’s largest democracy is finding no interest among foodservice operators for its voluntary inspection and accreditation program.  

The Food Safety and Standard Authority of India has not had a single eatery respond to its offer for accreditation through Quality Control of India, which has the mandate to decide standards, inspect and accredit restaurants, eateries, and roadside restaurants known as dhabas across the country. Food establishments are to be rated as platinum, gold, silver or bronze on food-safety standards, including cleanliness; food contamination; equipment used for cooking, storage, air quality and ventilation; food packaging; water and ice quality; management and supervision; pest-control systems; and waste management. The project has been piloted in various cities, including Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur.

Anil Jauhri, director of Quality Control of India, told The Times of India, "The objective is to improve safety and quality of food being served in various food establishments. However, it is disappointing to see that it has been six months and no establishment has come forward."

Ganesh Shetty, president of the Pune Restaurants and Hotels Association, told the Times his group was unaware of accreditation efforts. “We have not received any intimation, written or otherwise, about the rating system. We need to know what the process is all about. If communicated properly, I am sure food establishments will be willing to get themselves accredited."

Jauhri added that a major publicity drive was in the works to address the lack of awareness about the rating system. He believes the government will eventually switch to mandatory inspections.

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