Recognition Scheme for Hygiene Rating Audit Agencies
Quality Council of India (QCI) at the behest of the FSSAI has come out with a Scheme for approval of Hygiene Rating Audit Agencies to scale up Hygiene Rating by increasing the number of recognised Hygiene Rating Audit Agencies in the country.
FSSAI’s initiative of ‘Food Hygiene Rating Scheme’ is a certification system for food businesses supplying food directly to consumers, either on or off premise.
The food establishments are rated based on food hygiene and safety conditions observed at the time of audit.
The recognised Hygiene Rating Audit Agencies will be responsible for verifying the compliance with food hygiene and safety procedures laid by FSSAI and get Hygiene Rating.
The scheme aims to allow consumers to make informed choices/decisionspertaining to the food outlets where they eat by encouraging food businesses to improve their hygiene and safety standards.
Currently, this scheme is applicable for Food service establishments (such as hotels, restaurants, cafeteria, dhabhas, etc), sweet shops, bakeries and meat retail stores.
The recognised Hygiene Rating Audit Agency will verify the compliance with food hygiene and safety procedures laid by FSSAI.
Hygiene Rating Scheme can be instrumental in creating awareness amongst the consumers and developing a culture of self-compliance amongst food business operators.
These kinds of standards and conformity assessment always lead to an improved demand for the food service outlets and improved confidence from the consumer.
Food hygiene and safety is an important initiative of FSSAI and QCI in the country especially due to awareness of consumers about concerns of hygiene during the pandemic.
Going forward this initiative will definitely help consumers to choose the right outlets and will provide incentive to food outlets to create trust of their brand and improve their visibility within this growing sector.