Mumbai: Soon, safety officers to check train food quality

Mumbai: Food safety officers will soon be appointed at the railway canteens to ensure that passengers get quality food. This comes after the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) formulated

New rules, whereby the food supply in railway canteens and trains should have a QR code and other details like the name of the kitchen, date of packaging on packets, introduction of ready-to-eat (RTE) meals and provision of e-catering services in trains.

A FSSAI officer said that the food served to passengers is checked at regular intervals by an official from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ensure that the quality of food did not differ.

“For a better surveillance, we have taken the decision of food safety supervisors at kitchen units and they would be able to check all the parameters of food safety,” said the official.

Railways have also taken various steps like upgrading the quality of food preparation for which IRCTC has upgraded 46 kitchen units in the last two years.

To ensure a centralised monitoring of the kitchen activities, CCTVs have been installed in 38 kitchen units. “Sharing of live streaming of the kitchen units through IRCTC's website has been made operational.

FSSAI's certification from the designated food safety officers of each catering unit has been made mandatory to ensure compliance of the food safety norms,” said an official.

A senior official said the food officer will collect the samples and it will be sent to laboratories under the Food Safety & Standard Act for analysis and testing. Penalties are imposed in cases of detection of unsatisfactory food samples.

However, the railway department is yet to get official instructions to act on it as it has not received any official statement from FSSAI.

“We have not received any guidelines for appointing food safety officers. Once we receive the orders, it will be implemented immediately. On the other hand, we run a surveillance of foods served to railway customers on a daily basis,” said the official.

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