Govt releases guidelines for street vendors

The government on Wednesday released guidelines of the Bureau of Standards (BIS) for street food vendors that seek to provide minimal check points for ensuring safety in terms of hygiene and quality of food offered by them.

“These standards will focus on providing minimal check points for ensuring safety of street foods by assuring food security for a large number of rural, urban and migrant populations,” Food Minister K V Thomas said, after releasing the BIS recommendations at a national seminar on food safety.

Addressing the seminar, President Pranab Mukherjee said food safety ensuring clean and nutrition food should be a “key priority” of the government policies as it was vital for physical and mental health of people. Noting that these businesses were mainly run by small and cottage scale units in the country, the President, however, cautioned that small vendors should not find the BIS guidelines “intimidating” and “complex” for their implementation. He suggested awareness should be created among street food vendors about the fact that improvement in food safety will increase their profitability.

Mukherjee noted that the country has made significant strides over the past decades in food production and globalisation of the world economy has given a significant boost to the food trade. “But at the same time, it has created a new set of challenges to food safety,” he said.

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