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FSSAI issues EoI to empanel caterer rating agencies under HRPP scheme
Tuesday, 11 September, 2018, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Ashwani Maindola, New Delhi
FSSAI, the country’s apex food regulator, has issued an expression of interest (EoI) for the empanelment of the rating agencies for inspecting catering establishments under the Hygiene Rating and Responsible Place to Eat (HRRP) scheme.

The auditing agencies shall give ratings to food business operators (FBOs) based on their compliance of requirements under Schedule 4 of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, wherein FBOs are required to have a trained supervisor in all premises and the display of food safety boards is mandatory.

The FSSAI will verify these ratings during inspections on a regular interval. Interested companies or agencies can apply by September 28, 2018, while a pre-bid meeting shall take place at the apex regulator’s headquarters at noon on September 18. The notice said that the empanelment will be for three years.

This move by FSSAI particularly holds importance in the background of the recent development, wherein FSSAI directed a number of online service providers, including Zomato and Swiggy, to delist unlicensed and unregistered caterers from their platforms. Also, it reflects weak enforcement on the part of the state authorities.

“The concept is widely in use in many countries and this programme is to promote self-compliance of food hygiene and safety amongst the food businesses. At the same time, the programme is used to make the consumers aware of the quality of the catering organisations,” said Durga Prassad Panda, lead auditor, Food Safety Management System (FSMS), and food safety trainer.

“This is an effort to differentiate amongst the FBOs, who is complying and who’s not. Since the state machineries are already overburdened by the food safety related work, that is why this sort of public-private partnership is coming up to bring more compliance amongst the catering FBOs. It would help the FBOs to build reputation and also to identify the defaulters,” he added.

According to FSSAI, HRRP is a new scheme envisaged under the Project Serve Safe to promote safe and nutritious food through catering sector. Under this programme six factors have been identified include personal hygiene, healthy eating, safe water handling, effective complaint handling, transparency in food preparation and donation of food.
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