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Food safety not in unsafe hands

NEW DELHI: Despite their doubtful hygiene, it is hard to resist the golgappas, aloo tikkis, ram laddoos, momos, etc., sold on the roadside. Though Food Safety and Standards Authority of India has formulated guidelines to regulate this unorganized sector, Delhi government has failed to effectively implement them. Now, the street vendors, themselves, are coming together to ensure acceptable standards of food quality and hygiene.

In a first-of-its-kind initiative, National Association of Street Vendors of India has launched a catering service to be run and managed by street vendors. “If street vendors want to be taken serious, they will have to stand united. This initiative will give street vendors an opportunity to expand their base. Through this, we can keep a check on the quality of food served and hygiene standards maintained by street vendors,” NASVI president Arbind Singh said.

On Monday, NASVI organized a large scale workshop on hygiene and food safety for street vendors. Street vendors from across the city were taught ways to maintain food quality and also informed about how this will help boost their income. “There is a need to create awareness about food safety among public and street vendors. If customers demand it, they will be forced to maintain hygiene. This will result in increase in their monthly income as they can charge more for providing good quality food,” said K Chandramouli, chairperson, FSSAI, who inaugurated the workshop.

Delhi was one of the first states to implement the Food Safety and Standards Act 2006. But sources in FSSAI claim it has failed to deliver the goods. “There are many states which have done a lot of work to streamline street food vendors. But Delhi has not done much,” said a senior official.

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