Even as the health officials and local bodies are closing down unhygienic hotels, Bakers Association Kerala is about to initiate a set of methods to ensure that none of the bakeries are closed down. According to P M Sankaran, president of Bakers Association Kerala, a ‘Clean Bakery Campaign’ will be launched soon to ensure that the bakeries meet the cleanliness norms.
As per the initiative, a five-member team will inspect the bakeries across the state and will provide general awareness to the bakery owners. “The inspection will be a friendly one and the bakers have expressed their comfort with the concept. In case we find that cleanliness is being flouted, then the bakers would be given an awareness class on hygiene. Three such visits would be made and during the third visit, health inspectors from the respective local bodies would be called to conduct the inspections along with us. Finally, once the bakery is found to be clean, ‘Bake Certificates’ would be provided to the owner in the presence of the health inspector. The owners can then display the certificate to state that the bakery meets the cleanliness standards,” said Sankaran.
Meanwhile, the association marked its protest against the State Safety Commissioner’s guideline making testing of water purity mandatory to run the food outlets. The association is planning to approach the commissioner asking him to exempt bakeries from such a rule, Sankaran said.
“The norm is not practical in a state like Kerala where water is not pure enough. The water which we receive from even the Kerala Water Authority is not pure. Then how can the Food Safety wing expect us to ensure that the water is hundred per cent pure?” he asked.
As per the norms set by the Commission, the water purity test reports should be available with the food outlets. “The water samples that have been tested pure in the state are because of the chemicals that were added in it. There is no point cheating the public like that,” Sankaran said.
The Bakers Association came down strongly against the steps taken by the health inspectors of the local bodies in the state. “As per the guidelines, no food outlet can be closed down suddenly, even if it is found to be unhygienic, without sending a prior notice. Most of the hotels and outlets were shut down without any notice and it is illegal,” the members alleged.