KMC set to grade street food vendors
Kolkata: In a significant stride towards ensuring better quality of street food, the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) will soon start awarding grades to street food vendors, so that they have a healthy competition in providing good quality of food.
A high level workshop was held in this regard, in which senior officials from World Health Organisation (WHO) discussed about maintaining hygiene and quality of street food.
"A majority of the people across India, including Bengal, depend on street food. A large number of people from the districts come to the city daily for work and they have to depend entirely on street food. So, this high level workshop was held to ensure that cleanliness and hygiene is maintained for street food as well," Member, Mayor-in-Council (Health), KMC, Atin Ghosh said.
Apart from Bengal, there were representatives from states like Bihar, Odisha, Assam, Jharkhand and Tripura, at the two day discussion held at Administrative Training Institute (ATI) Kolkata, which concluded on Tuesday.
It may be mentioned that Padmashree awardee Indira Chakraborty, who has been working on street food safety for 30 years, has prepared a guideline on street food quality and hygiene. "Deliberations were held on the basis of these guidelines and based on them, we will be bringing out a resolution. Street food vendors who will be able to meet the guidelines prepared by us, will be graded A, B and C," said an official.
As per statistics presented in the two day workshop, there are more than one crore food vendors in the country. Around 20 lakh people across the world die annually, consuming inferior quality of food.
The Central Food Safety Commission has pulled up its socks for ensuring street food quality at all the major cities across the country. A similar workshop was held some days ago at Mysore.
An official in the food department of KMC said that the gradation will be based on several parameters that include using good quality ingredients, no use of any colour or preservative, cleanliness of the kitchen and good quality of water used for cooking or drinking etc.
"Once we grade a particular street food shop as A, people will opt for that shop and then the others will automatically try to improve their own quality. We are hopeful of a healthy competition among the vendors, which will be beneficial for the customers," the official added.