Thiruvananthapuram : As part of “Kerala - Safe Food Space(കേരളം സുരക്ഷിത ഭക്ഷണ ഇടം')“ scheme , food safety inspections across state shall be intensified from the 1st of February, said Health Minister Veena George. Apart from Food Safety personnel, staff from the Public Health dept too shall engage in checking hygiene and Health Cards. In prioritising public health, directions have been issued to all hotels, restaurants and food outlets to ensure strict hygiene and safe food. The Health Inspectors will inspect hygiene and Health Card. Guidelines with regard to this shall be released. Places that have staff without Health Card would not be allowed to operate, the Minister clarified.
There are about 160 Food Safety Officers in the Food Safety department. The Health Department has 883 Health Inspectors, 176 Health Supervisors, 1813 Grade I Junior Health Inspectors and 1813 Grade II Junior Health Inspectors. With added help from them, food inspections can be done more effectively and extensively. The services of Health Inspectors and Junior health Inspectors during Covid period are praiseworthy, the minister said.
Each local body limits has a Health Inspector or Senior Junior Health Inspector in charge under the Health Department. Health inspectors play an important role in ensuring the public health in their purview. As per Public Health Act, should there exist threat to public health, there exists provision to intervene or take action after informing the Health Department. If risk lies in the food safety area, superficial actions can be effected after due information to the Food Safety officials.
Support from all quarters is essential to ensure food safety. Every establishment should ensure they serve safe food. This will enhance their trust and prosperity, the Minister said.