Food safety teams of Nagaland health and family welfare department have been conducting surprise inspection of confectioneries and food joints in Kohima and Dimapur since last week to ascertain whether they follow the regulations of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 or not.
On Monday evening, a team of health and food safety officers, led by the state food safety programme officer Dr Akou Sorhie and Kohima chief medical officer Dr Ritu Thur, inspected bakeries, restaurant kitchens and ice cream manufacturing units in Dimapur and Kohima.
According to reports, the health authorities served a notice for suspension of trade license to a well-known baking unit in Kohima – Popular Bakery – for failing to improve its standard of hygiene despite a previous notice to resolve its sanitation issues.
The health authorities in Kohima reportedly served a notice to the backing unit on June 21 to improve the condition of their kitchen with regard to hygiene.
However, sources said, the backing unit failed to fulfill the criteria as laid down in the Food Safety and Standards Act.
In a release, the Kohima CMO, Dr Thur, said Popular Bakery was inspected by the officials “after a notification was served prior to 40 days.” The CMO said it was found that the bakery still needed proper hygienic storage and baking practices.
He said any food manufacturing unit that does not keep up with the required standards stipulated by the Food Safety Act would mean that the products pose health hazards to the public.
The food safety team also reportedly checked the kitchen of Paradise Restaurant in the capital town and decided to issue a notice for improvement to the establishment as well. The restaurant’s kitchen was found to be gathering dust with cockroaches roaming all over the place, food items left uncovered and food handlers not possessing necessary food safety certifications, sources said. Samples of the food items were taken for testing, sources said.
The health official said the authorities will recommend invalidation of trade licenses of the food units in the event they fail to comply with the order for improvement.
Dimapur chief medical officer Vikato Kinimi and a team of food safety officials also carried out inspections at Breeze Bakery and Popsicle ice cream factory here on Monday.
Commissioner and secretary of health and family welfare department Himato Zhimomi informed that the proprietors of the two establishments have been directed to make improvements.
On July 21, the health authorities ordered one of Dimapur’s oldest and most well known bakeries and an ice cream factory to shut down for improvement because of unhygienic conditions they reportedly operate in. The followed inspection of the food units by food safety officers and members of Dimapur Chamber of Commerce and Industries and Naga Council of Dimapur.