No infection certificate compulsory for food staff in Kerala

NewsDrum Desk
31 Jan 2023

Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 31 (PTI) Effective February 1, employees of restaurants and all establishments in Kerala involved in making and serving food should be certified by a doctor that they do not suffer from any contagious diseases and not have open wounds.

Billed as 'Health card,' the certificate has been made mandatory by the State Health Department in the wake of food poisoning incidents and the government has warned of tough action against violators.

The Health card is compulsory for restaurants, hotels, catering firms and other establishments involved in cooking, serving, distributing and selling food items.

Health Minister Veena George said the Food Safety Department and Health inspectors would start inspecting hotels, restaurants and other places where food is being cooked or distributed. Cleanliness and health cards for employees would be checked.

"The health card is mandatory for all staff at all the establishments in the state that are associated with cooking, distributing and sale of food. The cleanliness and the health card will be inspected by the officials at regular intervals and stern action will be taken against violators," the Minister's office said in a statement.

The health certificate of employees obtained from a doctor should be kept in the establishment itself, it said.

Those handling food in all establishments need to obtain health cards certifying that they are not suffering from any contagious diseases, infections or have any open wounds. 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 Health card move comes following the state government's intensified campaign against restaurants and eateries selling adulterated food.

The State has been witnessing a spike in food poisoning incidents for quite some time. Recently, a nurse working at the Kottayam medical college died in December last year after consuming a dish from an eatery on the premises of the institution.

In the wake of such incidents, the Health department had come out with instructions for eateries, like getting licence, making registration and maintaining hygiene and cleanliness. PTI RRT VGN VGN

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