PUNE: About 18,000 people associated with the food industry under the Pune division of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are set to receive guidance and training by Food Safety Training and Certification (FOSTAC) trainers to ensure compliance with safety standards in the industry. FDA, Pune, is set to commence a series of workshops in all the cities under its jurisdiction following which the food establishments will be provided with a certification.
Speaking to Sakal Times, Shivaji Desai, Joint Commissioner, FDA, Pune, said, "Over 1,000 people from snack centres, upahar gruhas, caterers and restaurants are set to participate in the first workshop to be held in Pune on Saturday. 18,000 people from this industry across Pune, Satara, Sangli, Kolhapur and Solapur will undergo training and guidance through the span of this workshop series."
He stated that the workshops are being conducted under FOSTAC to provide those dealing with food and kitchen with guidance on production, usage and storage of food at their establishments. "Following the workshop, they will be provided with a checklist for self-assessment for compliance of various safety standards over the next three months. The participating outlets will also be provided with a certification by FDA for training under FOSTAC," Desai explained.
Commenting on the initiative, Ganesh Shetty of Pune Restaurant and Hoteliers Association (PRAHA) said, "1,000 persons including owners of restaurants, chefs, cooks and managers will attend the workshop to understand the guidelines under the new rules of the Food and Safety Act. The officials from the department are set to provide guidance on how to handle things in the kitchen and adhere to safety standards."
The Government of India's Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has made it mandatory for all registered food license holders to undertake this training and get certification. According to Desai, the government may make it mandatory in the future to have FOSTAC certification to obtain restaurant or food licenses.