Covid-19 Safety Guidelines for Food Business Operators

Covid-19 Safety Guidelines for Food Business Operators
26 November 2021

Covid-19 Safety Guidelines for Food Business Operators

COVID-19 PROTOCOL BY FSSAI!

The covid-19 pandemic phase has been extremely challenging for everyone, people were fight for survival, everyone was badly affected with its consequences financially and physically, people lost their jobs, their loved ones, several businesses were forced to shut down due to heavy losses but luckily we somehow managed to come out of it and still people are trying their best to make things back to normal but safety measures have increased in everything specially our eating habits, precautionary steps are to be taken, and as FSSAI is responsible to ensure safe and wholesome food for everyone, for that FSSAI released certain guidelines, compliances, and informative information for restaurants/FBOs as well as consumers. 

FSSAI GUIDELINES FOR RESTAURANTS/FBOs:

• Daily checking of all visitors, employees as well as every worker while entering into the premises for symptoms of cold, cough, fever, breathing difficulties, etc.

• Need to Prepare protocols/ guidelines to handle COVID-19 cases also they need to keep disinfectants, masks, gloves, listing of local authorized hospitals, etc.

• Must adhere highest personal hygiene standards by the food handlers as they must frequently wash hands with soap and water, use of alcohol based hand sanitizers, good respiratory hygiene practices to cover mouth and nose properly by using face mask, use gloves while handling food, cleaning/ disinfecting work surfaces, reporting illness, practicing social distancing by spacing out work stations, maintaining 1 meter of gap between co-workers, etc.

• Must clean and sanitize area frequently, where food products are prepared/ packaged, waste disposal area, transport vehicles, service areas, etc.

• Steps for cleaning to include rinsing with warm portable water, washing with hot water, followed by rinsing, treating with hot, clean and portable water, air-drying and disinfection using common disinfectants.

• It must be taken care that ready to eat food items are not left unattended or open.

• Employees must wear clean uniform, masks, gloves, head covers at all times.

• It is compulsory to wash all food items thoroughly in 50ppm chlorine and clean potable water before storage.

• Minimum 1 meter distance is to be maintained by food handlers and consumers including those engaged in buffet system, food delivery, etc.


GUIDELINES FOR CONSUMERS:

• Precautionary measures to be taken while purchasing the food such as not to over crowd a place and maintain social distancing by maintaining a distance of at 6 feet in public places and stand in proper queues and wait for the turn.

• Try to minimize the use of cash and use cards or online payments instead for payment methods.

• Once a person reaches home, every item must the properly sanitized or thoroughly washed also try to use everything after a week.

• Incase of perishable items like fruit vegetables and packed milk, fruits and vegetables must the thoroughly washed in Luke warm water also wash the packet of milk thoroughly.

• In cases of ordering food from delivery platforms try using contactless delivery method, and ensure there is 1 meter gap between you and delivery person.


 FSSAI Released few standard operating procedures (SOP) prepared by ministry of health and family welfare they are as follows:


1. SOP on preventive measures to contain spread of Covid-19 in Offices:

If a person is found with symptoms suggestive of Covid-19 the management shall immediately inform the central/state/local health authority/ Covid helpline, for the assessment of exposure history and clinical presentation after the assessment if the person is not assessed to be suspect of covid-19 the case would be referred to non Covid health facility and if the person is assessed to be a suspect of covid-19, the case would be transferred to Covid health facility. Similarly the guidelines were provided for the below mentioned SOP’s.

2. SOP on preventive measures to contain spread of COVID-19 in offices.


3. SOP on preventive measures to contain spread of COVID-19 in religious places/places of worship.


4. SOP on preventive measures in Restaurants to contain spread of COVID-19.


5. SOP on preventive measures in shopping malls to contain spread of COVID-19.


6. SOP on preventive measures in Hotels and Other Hospitality Units to contain spread of COVID-19.

There was a time when food industry was almost on the verge to shut down but with the help of these FSSAI it found its way out of it by following compliances like contact-less delivery, social distancing at restaurants making food with complete safety and securing etc. Complying with these guidelines is necessary for Food Business Operators as well as consumers in fact so far these protocols are proved to be effective and help several people to smoothly cope up with the situation.