KOCHI: Doubtful about the quality of the juice you consume while on the move on a hot day? Check if the shop owner has displayed his/her registration/license. Its display is one of the 20 points the commissionerate of food safety is going to enforce strictly in the state, given the rising complaints about the quality of ready-to-use products as mercury levels rise. As per the food safety commissionerate, shop-keepers should buy articles such as fruits, ice, sugar, nuts and others used to make fruit salad, juices, shakes, faluda ands such stuff from shops with food safety licence/registration. They should keep the bills for the same, record in a register and present them in case of an inspection by food safety officials.
The charter insists that shop-keepers take water from clean sources, get a report on it taken once in six months from a recognised analytical lab and keep them at the shop. The water and articles used for making juice should be kept closed in food grade vessels. Fruits must be of good quality, are cleaned and kept inside a refrigerator. Ice should be kept inside the freezer or clean vessels or ice box; use of thermocol for the purpose is banned. The water and ice should keep the prescribed standards.
Exclusive food grade vessels should be used for keeping cut fruits and juices in freezers; but they cannot be kept for long duration. Milk kept in freezers beyond the expiry date should not be used. Milk should also conform to prescribed standards. The conditions are not applicable for packaged juices but the conditions stipulated on their packets on expiry date and others should be conformed to.
Shops must keep medical fitness certificate of the staff; those having skin or contagious diseases should not be employed. The premises, the utensils and machines like mixie, the knives and other articles and the staff should keep hygiene. Every utensil should be kept lizard, cockroach and rat- proof. There should be provision to remove waste safely.
Refrigerator and freezer should be cleaned at regular intervals and it should be displayed in a chart. Every article should be cleaned before closing each day. The premises where juice is made should be made of stainless steel/marble that does not absorb water. “The standards have been in place ever since the Food Safety Act, 2006, rules 2011 and regulations 2011 have come into force,” food safety commissioner Veena N. Madhavan said. “We shall now enforce them strictly and slap criminal cases on violators.”...