Thiruvananthapuram: Health Minister Veena George said that a special State Tax Force will be formed for inspections at the state level. This tax force can conduct inspections in any part of the state. The minister said that the food safety officials of the respective area will also be a part of this team. The minister was speaking at a meeting of food safety enforcement officers.
Officials ranging from Food Safety Officers to Commissioners attended the meeting. The meeting assessed that the measures of the food safety department have been strengthened after the Covid. The Department of Food Safety has done a lot of work in the last year compared to the previous years.
18,845 tests were conducted in 2019, 23,892 tests in 2020, and 21,225 tests in 2021 between July and December. But within the last six months, about half a lakh tests have been conducted. 45 shops were closed in 2019, 39 shops in 2020, and 61 shops in 2021 while 149 establishments were closed in the last six months.
Unlicensed firms will not be allowed to operate in the state. If the license is revoked, it can be restored only by the Commissioner. Checks should be done at regular intervals. Check-posts and shops should be checked thoroughly at night. Let’s move forward stronger together. Investigations and prosecutions should be carried out without fear.
Inspections should be extended to more establishments. All citizens who work properly will be covered by the government. Appropriate action should be taken when receiving a complaint. Don’t abuse the law. Unannounced inspections should be ensured. Seek police protection if necessary.
Enforcement reviews should be conducted on a fortnightly basis. Assessment should be done once a month at the state level and follow-up action should be taken. The online system will be strengthened. Henceforth, the establishments conducting the inspection should upload the food safety officials properly online. This should be assessed at the state level. A hygiene rating system for hotels and a public information portal will be set up soon.