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Who can decide about the hygiene and status of restaurants? FM Stations or Food Safety Department?
SRINAGAR: Food Safety Department of Jammu and Kashmir has virtually taken a back seat after FM radio stations in Valley has taken their role of deciding and declaring which restaurants are better in hygiene and other aspects.
An FM Radio Station in Kashmir Valley recently conducted what they called a 'survey' and awarded couple of restaurants claiming they are the best ones in hygiene and other aspects. The restaurants that bagged the awards left no stone unturned in publicizing the event, trying their best to encash it.
A number of netizens took to social media criticising the trend and questioned the role of Food Safety Depart. "Is Food Safety Department sleeping? What is the role of this Department? Is this FM Radio Station any survey agency that can award any restaurant it wants for business purposes," wrote a Facebook user.
Another netizen advised Government to windup this Department and assign the role of checking and maintaining food standards to entertainment channels.
Food Safety and Standards Authority in Jammu and Kashmir has been established under Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 which consolidates various acts & orders that have hitherto handled food related issues in various Ministries and Departments. It has been created for laying down science based standards for articles of food and to regulate their manufacture, storage, distribution, sale and import to ensure availability of safe and wholesome food for human consumption.
Former Commissioner Secretary to Food Safety Department Dr Kabir told Kashmir News Trust that entertainment channels and FM Radio Station have no right to decide about the status of a hotel or any restaurant or any food stall. " They are doing it all for business purposes," he said adding that nobody can use a "Thappa" on any food outlet and declare it number one without any official nodal agency.
The incumbent Commissioner Secretary Mr Vinod Sharma said these FM Radio Stations have no authority to do so. "We will initiate action not only against those restaurants who mislead public for publicity but will also take these Radio Stations to task under law if we receive any written complaint from any quarter," Sharma told Kashmir News Trust. (KNT)