Quality Council of India (QCI) and FSSAI have come out with a Scheme for approval of Hygiene Rating Audit Agencies. The detail of the scheme is available on QCI’s website.
FSSAI’s initiative of ‘Food Hygiene Rating Scheme’ is a certification system for food businesses supplying food directly to consumers, either on or off-premise. The food establishments are rated based on food hygiene and safety conditions observed at the time of the audit. The hygiene rating will be in the form of smileys (1 up to 5) and the certificate should be displayed prominently in the consumer-facing area. The recognised Hygiene Rating Audit Agencies will be responsible for verifying the compliance with food hygiene and safety procedures laid by FSSAI and get Hygiene Rating.
The scheme aims to allow consumers to make informed choices/decisions pertaining to the food outlets where they eat by encouraging food businesses to improve their hygiene and safety standards. Currently, this scheme is applicable for foodservice establishments (such as hotels, restaurants, cafeteria, dhabhas, etc), sweet shops, bakeries and meat retail stores.
The recognised Hygiene Rating Audit Agency will verify the compliance with food hygiene and safety procedures laid by FSSAI.
According to Arun Singhal, CEO FSSAI “Hygiene Rating Scheme can be instrumental in creating awareness amongst the consumers and developing a culture of self-compliance amongst food business operators. It will improve the quality of the food supply and increase demand as well. I urge all eligible food businesses to implement Hygiene Rating Scheme in their premises”
Adil Zainulbhai, Chairman, QCI emphasised that Hygiene Rating and its recognition scheme is an excellent initiative of FSSAI and QCI, and will help in improving the confidence of the Indian consumer and foodservice operators in the basic hygiene and quality of the food. These kinds of standards and conformity assessment always lead to improved demand for the foodservice outlets and improved confidence from the consumer. I wish the scheme great success.
Dr R.P.Singh, Secretary-General, QCI also mentioned that food hygiene and safety is an important initiative of FSSAI and QCI in the country especially due to awareness of consumers about concerns of hygiene during the pandemic. Going forward this initiative will definitely help consumers to choose the right outlets and will provide an incentive to food outlets to create trust of their brand and improve their visibility within this growing sector.