Food handling establishments to be graded
The Health Ministry has taken steps to grade all food handling
establishments under the H-800 Food Handling Establishments Inspection
system, with the objective of ensuring food security in Sri Lanka,
Health Ministry Additional Secretary Palitha Maheepala said.
Under this programme the ministry has taken measures to educate and
advise the owners and food handlers on safe food practices and formulate
an action plan to improve food safety, ensure and maintain quality and
safety of food and upgrade food handling establishments.
"As a result of urbanization, most of the people in our society use
to buy food from food handling establishments. So it is important to
ensure the food security in all hotels, bakeries, groceries, supper
markets, snack bars and other food establishments," the Additional
Secretary said. Under the Food Act No.28 of 1980 as amended by
Food(Amendment) Act, No 20 of 1991, the Health Minister has the power to
issue new regulations. So the Health Ministry always tries to ensure
food security in Sri Lanka by issuing new regulations, he said.
These establishments will be categorized under four categories namely
A,B,C and D, in order to ensure food safety. The ministry will offer a
certificate by mentioning the grade that they have obtained and they
should display their certificates at their establishments, which would
be easy for the general public to get an idea about food establishments,
Health Ministry, Environmental and Occupational Health Director
T.B.Ananda Jayalal said.
1,350 out of 10,000 food handling establishments inspected by the
Health Ministry officials have obtained the A grade.
"When inspecting food handling establishments, in addition to
technical aspects on food safety attention should be given to provisions
in the Food Act of 1980.
Regulations made under the Food Act, especially the 1988 Food
Regulation, for each item inspected the provisions indicated in the
regulations should be used as the norms/standards." said the Director.