Registration of shops to be made compulsory: Hek

SHILLONGHealth and Family Welfare Minister A L Hek said the registration of all shops would be made compulsory in view of health issues.

He was replying to the Call Attention Motion of Congress MLA Mayralborn Syiem in Meghalaya Legislative Assembly on Thursday.

Admitting to the shortage in manpower, Hek said the Food and Safety Department was being run with skeletal staff and would rectify the problem not only in Shillong but in other places of the state as well.

Hek said that a complaint was received from Lansius Syienmlieh, Quinine, Ri-Bhoi District with the sample of a Jalebi on July 1, 2019. The Food Safety officer was instructed to visit the restaurant of Shiv Prakash Joshi (owner of M/S Amit Restaurant, Nongpoh).

He said that the Food Safety Officer inspected the premises and sent the sample jalebi brought by the complainant to the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) Center in North Eastern Region, Umiam for confirmation of the presence of insect.

During inspection of the premises of M/S Amit Restaurant, Nongpoh by the Food Safety Officer, many anomalies were detected which may be the reason for which such incident might have happened.

On receipt of the inspection report from the Food Safety officer and confirmation of the presence of body parts of insect embedded in the Jalebi, the Designated Officer, Ri-Bhoi district issued Improvement Notice under Section 32 of the Food Safety & Standards Act, 2006 including the measures to be taken by Shiv Prasad Joshi within given time.

The designated officer directed the immediate closure of the shop for 14 days with effect from July 4, 2019.

The owner of the restaurant appealed for extension of the days for compliance by another 60 days more to renovate whole of kitchen, store- room and eating area.

In case the owner of the restaurant does not comply within the given time a case under section 59 (i) of the Food Safety & Standards Act, 2006 will be filed for non-compliance. The 60 days’ time extended ends on September 23, 2019.

Speaking at the Call Attention Motion, Congress MLA Mayralborn Syiem said there should be regular checking of restaurants/dhabas and those eateries that do not fulfill the food safety norms should be cancelled.

He said that the manpower of the Food and Safety Department should be strengthened and said there was only one Food and Safety Officer in Ri-Bhoi and there is no other staff. He also said that there should be field staff to monitor day- -to-day activities.

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