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Recognition Scheme for Hygiene Rating Audit Agencies

16th December, 2020 POLITY AND GOVERNANCE

Context: Quality Council of India (QCI) at the behest of the FSSAI has come out with a Scheme for approval of Hygiene Rating Audit Agencies to scale up Hygiene Rating by increasing the number of recognised Hygiene Rating Audit Agencies in the country.

  • 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 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 Food service 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.
  • “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 quality of food supply and increase demand as well.
  • QCI emphasised that Hygiene Rating and its recognition scheme is an excellent initiative of FSSAI and will help in improving the confidence of the Indian consumer and food service operators in the basic hygiene and quality of the food.
  • These kinds of standards and conformity assessment always lead to an improved demand for the food service outlets and improved confidence from the consumer.