Among the many initiatives taken by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) during the COVID-19 outbreak, the FSSAI has now come up with Do’s and Don’ts for chefs and food handlers.
Since restaurants and eating houses have been allowed to operate during the lockdown, the FSSAI to ensure that the food is cooked in a healthy, safe and clean environment has suggested the chefs and food handlers to take the following precautions:
|Take bath daily before reporting to work.||Handle food when sick.|
|Wear clean and protective clothing, clean aprons, hand gloves, and head wear appropriately||Wear jewellery such as earring, bangles, rings, etc. while handling food, as they carry germs which may contaminate food.|
|Keep hands clean and nails trimmed. Wash hands with soap and clean (potable) water:
– before starting work;
– after handling chemicals;
– after handling incompatible food products (for example, raw versus cooked or ready- to eat) or contaminated materials;
– after breaks; after using toilet facilities.
– after coughing or sneezing or blowing their nose;
– after using telephone/cell phones, handling currency 3.7 after smoking in designated areas etc.
|Prepare or sell food in an area prone to pollution such as effluent water, heavy smoke, hazardous waste and more|
|Store hazardous substances such as fuel, chemicals, etc. near the food preparation area|
|Use loose oil or spices.|
|Keep food at room temperature for more than 4 hours. Do not resell leftover food the next day. It shall be discarded the same day|
A pictorial demonstration by FSSAI of Do’s and Don’ts for Chefs and Food handlers amidst Coronavirus Pandemic is as under:
Further, the Authority has also suggested that the chefs and food handlers shall take the following precautions while cooking:
- Cover wounds/ burns etc. with waterproof bandages.
- Keep food premises clean, well ventilated, well ventilated and no water stagnation is allowed.
- Carefully inspect fruits, vegetables etc. for freshness and quality before purchasing. 4. Procure packaged products from FSSAI licensed/registered vendors only.
- Clean cooking surface before starting work.
- Maintain temperature for selling chilled beverage & cold dessert, appropriate temperature shall be maintained.
- Use clean (potable) water for washing, food preparation, drinking, cleaning of utensils, etc. In case storage is required then it should be stored in clean containers.
- Segregate raw/cooked and vegetarian/non-vegetarian foods at all times to avoid cross-contamination.
- Cook and reheat food at right temperature for adequate time.
- Use equipment, containers, utensils, chopping boards, knives, cutlery, and serving spoons, of food-grade quality. Sanitize the equipment’s before use.
- Provide facility for hand wash to customers away from food preparation and service area.
- Dispose waste regularly. Keep bins covered and clean them regularly.
FSSAI has allowed FBOs to operate during the lockdown period to ensure that regular supply of food to the general public is not disrupted. However, FBOs shall ensure that abundant caution is taken while manufacturing and packaging food items and follow the aforesaid safety measures in order to avoid further spread and transmission of the virus.