Trivandrum: A food safety seminar was conducted by Thiruvananthapuram Railway Division at the Railway Divisional Office involving food regulators and food business operators. Senior officers of Commercial and Health department of Southern Railway and Food Safety Department of Government of Kerala along with 25 catering licensees of Railways attended the seminar.
Inaugurating the seminar, Prakash Butani, DRM, emphasized the need on good hygiene and safe practices in running food business. He also stressed on the need to improve railway food handling, method to ensure quality etc.
Checking of unauthorized vending and selling of unauthorized brands of items will be strictly monitored. Special attention will be paid to Tirunelveli, Kayamkulam, Alappuzha and Thrissur area as more complaints are being received from these areas. Provision of ID cards/name badges will be ensured. More care will be paid to cleanliness of utensils used in pantry cars.
Prima facie reason for recent incidence of suspected food poisoning is attributed to the system of preparation of food outside the Railway premises. Industrial base kitchens will be set up at Trivandrum and Ernakulam with IRCTC to make an end to this.
Railway has a set system of monitoring to ensure hygiene and quality. A system of ‘Own your Pantry’, where officers and senior supervisors are travelling in long distance trains from end to end to monitor quality of service. License of six pantry car catering service providers were suspended and that of two were terminated during last year.
Railways is trying to collect telephone numbers of authorized food suppliers which will be provided to train manning staff so that passengers can place their order for food directly to suppliers. This facility will be apart from the IRCTC e catering service. Tea / Coffee preparation will be monitored to ensure quality. Cash bill / Coupon for all food items will be implemented from February 21, 2017 under Trivandrum division so that passengers can demand bill for any food item supplied. Regular classes and counselling to food handlers and through inspection of eateries is also planned.
Kerala Biz News