Through its notification dated 9th October 2020 the FSSAI has extended the last date for conducting audit of meat/sweet shops to 31st March 2021 beyond which no further extension would be considered. The FSSAI has written to Commissioners of Food Safety of all States and UTs in this regard and to all Audit Agencies recognised by FSSAI under the Food Safety and Standards (Food Safety Auditing) Regulations, 2018. The Audit would be conducted with the help of recognised private audit agencies as well as by the FSSAI designated officers (DOs) and food safety officers (FSOs).
The FSSAI is concerned about food safety and hygiene status of meat and sweet shops and therefore audits are critical. Some of the areas the auditing will be carried out for includes checking to ensure shops are away from areas where meats and sweets can be contaminated. For meat shops the audits could include the hygienic condition of the shops and overall cleanliness, adequate space for slaughter, the condition of chopping block and instruments used in meat chopping. For sweet shops some of the auditing criteria would include an inspection of storage conditions, raw materials, food colours, etc.
Hygienic ratings will include personal hygiene of the workers in the meat and sweet shops, hand washing arrangements, condition of the shops including presence of screen, pest control facility including over drains are some of the other areas where auditing would be carried out.
The FSSAI is using the services of third-party auditing agencies to strengthen the food safety surveillance system and encourage self-compliance while at the same time assuring safe food to the consumers. With the audit of meat and sweet shops consumers would become aware about what they are consuming and from where they can purchase safe food products.
Source : FSSAI