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FOOD SAFETY

FDA Maharashtra & Coca-Cola India to train Pune vendors on food safety
Monday, 08 January, 2018, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Our Bureau, Mumbai
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Maharashtra and Coca-Cola India recently launched a pilot project in Pune to train street food vendors on food safety and good hygiene practices (GHPs).

The initiative was a part of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) inked last year by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and Coca-Cola to train 50,000 street food vendors across India over the next three years under the project Clean Street Food.
 
Under this initiative, Coca-Cola and FDA Maharashtra will train 1,200 street food vendors in Pune city in January 2018 on the aspect of safe and nutritious food enabling them to improve the quality of their offerings, which will ultimately lead to increase in their earnings.

As part of this initiative, Coca-Cola India, will closely work with FDA in upgrading the eating out experience for the local populace at large.

While the former will be responsible for the programme execution through its network of trainers and available infrastructure, the latter will ensure the relevance of the training content and shall oversee the overall delivery.

On successful completion of the training, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Maharashtra will issue a certificate to the street food vendors.
 
Girish Bapat, minister for food, civil supplies and consumer protection, food and drug administration and parliamentary affairs, government of Maharashtra, was the chief guest.

He said, “Street food vendors form an integral part of our society and reflect the local food culture.”

“While they offer nutritious and affordable food to consumers, it would be highly beneficial for them to upgrade their knowledge of food safety standards and rules of hygiene,” Bapat added.

“This joint initiative between FDA and Coca-Cola India is a positive step towards promoting safe and nutritious food while eating out,” he added.

Commenting on the pilot, Pallavi Darade, commissioner, FDA Maharashtra, said, “Under this programme launched jointly with Coca-Cola India, we have selected Pune as the first city to launch the pilot initiative due to its vibrant and diverse food culture.”

“Our collaboration with Coca-Cola India will help us in sensitising street vendors on practising good hygiene and maintain cleanliness to create a good eating out experience for consumers,” she added.

Darade mentioned that under an earlier project, named Bhog, her team had raised the standards of traditional prasad being served in temples across the state.

The Shree Siddhivinayak temple in Mumbai was the first to adopt these initiatives, and subsequently, was cleared by the United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) to allow the dispatch of prasad to devotees in the United States.

The training under the Clean Street Food programme is delivered through a unique classroom on wheels.

This customised bus, which is fully equipped with training pre-requisites such as a seating area, presentation zone, audio-video equipment and on-board trainers, will reach out to street vendors in the rural and semi-urban areas with the help of local FDA teams.
 
Speaking on the occasion, Ishteyaque Amjad, vice-president, public affairs and communication, Coca-Cola India and South West Asia, said, “Our collaboration with FSSAI and various state FDAs for project Clean Street Food is aimed at providing best practises and knowledge to street food vendors through specialised training modules enabling them grow their businesses sustainably.”

“The initiative has been designed by keeping in mind the specific needs of the small food vendors. Coca-Cola India is committed to build capabilities and support sustainable food security programmes,” he added.

Over the next three years, the Clean Street Food project will expand, through Coca-Cola India’s bottling plant network, to 14 other locations across nine states, including Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Chandigarh, Punjab, Chhattisgarh and Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR). 
 
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