Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 31 (PTI) The Kerala government on Tuesday extended by two weeks the deadline to obtain health cards for those working in hotels and food outlets in the state.
Billed as 'Health card,' the certificate has been made mandatory by the State Health Department in the wake of food poisoning cases reported across the state.
Health Minister Veena George said the decision to extend the deadline was taken considering the requests from the establishment owners for more time to get their employees certified by a doctor that they do not suffer from any contagious diseases and not have open wounds.
The state government had made the 'Health card,' compulsory from February 1.
"As requested by establishment owners and also that many are yet to get the card due to the last minute rush, the government has extended the last date till February 16," George said in a release.
The minister also directed that all registered medical practitioners to issue health cards after conducting necessary tests.
The card has now been made compulsory for restaurants, hotels, catering firms and other establishments involved in cooking, serving, distributing and selling food items.
The Food Safety Department and Health inspectors would carry out inspection at hotels, restaurants and other places, where food is being cooked or distributed and action taken against violators.
The doctors will issue the health card after conducting an eye test, a body checkup for identifying any skin diseases, open wounds and blood sample test for any contagious diseases, the release said.
Earlier, the state government had banned the sale of food items without the "best before label".
"From February 1, strict action will be taken against those who fail to distribute food without such labels carrying details including date of cooking, packing and the best before date and time in the label," the statement said.
The move comes following the state government's intensified campaign against restaurants and eateries selling adulterated food. PTI RRT ROH ROH