The rising absenteeism of employees at the workplace due to food-related problems because of the food vendor appointed has kept the management team of Corporate Entities in dilemma. Considering the facts and the importance of this issue the Food Vendor Assessment subject is brought down.
Allow us to divide the point of a Good Food Vendor into 2:
1. From the perception of an Employee
2. From the perception of the Employer / Management
An average employee spends roughly 67% of his / her daily time at the workplace. This means that for at least one meal, the employee is dependent on the employer. Now for practical purpose, while some get their daily meals from home, some others are dependent on either the canteens in the premises or on the local restaurants.
What if the food served at the company premises is as good and financially feasible as that made at home?
This would be time-saving, healthy, safe and a preferred option for all employees.
However, if the current food vendor does not serve safe or hygienic food, that increases the risk of employees consuming food from places which might be safety-compromised. This causes:
– Food-Borne illnesses
– Increase in the number of leaves
– Health Hazards
– The rise in medical expenses
.. and more.
Employers / Management
Once the employees start taking multiple leaves due to sickness, it starts taking a toll on the projects. Delay in the projects costs the finances of the company, eventually affecting the annual turnover and revenue.
– Loss of finances
– Incomplete projects
– Depreciation of Brand Value
– Fall of company stocks
Now, what can be the one possible solution to this situation?
Well, worry not the one easiest solution that one would go with is referring an exclusive guide for food vendor assessment.
FSSAI has lately launched The Orange book-Your guide for safe and nutritious food at the workplace for the Corporate Entities. The Orange Book serves a guide for general practices recommended for ensuring safe and nutritious food at the workplace.
The Orange Book is organized into three parts. The first part is meant for HR/Administration. It includes specific measures that the workplace administration can take in order to create a system and enabling an environment to ensure food safety and nutrition for everyone in the workplace.
The second part is for the canteen or cafeteria establishment. It specifies best practices and guidelines recommended for the canteen establishment to ensure that the food served in the workplace, whether prepared in-house or catered from outside, is safe and wholesome.
The third part is for employees. It provides several important dos and don’ts, useful tips and suggestions to empower employees to eat and stay healthy in the workplace by making informed choices about the food they consume.
To keep a check if your food vendor is the appropriate one, make sure the following parameters are approved:
1. The book states that there should be Food safety officer for every 25 food handlers and HWC Health Wellness Officer for ensuring discipline and food safety at the corporate premises.
2. Food vendors/caterers/kitchen for the workplace canteen should have FSSAI license and registration
3. To see whether Food vendors, caterers or the workplace kitchen are compliant with FSSAI norms Part II and V of Schedule 4 of Food Safety and Standards (Licensing and Registration of Food Businesses} Regulations 2011.
4. The canteen establishment or the vendor follow the guidelines specified in Section II
of this book.
5. Food handlers are trained by the FSS as per the FoSTaC programme for catering. There is a daily check on food handlers based on the guidelines specified in this book.
6. Medical Records of food handlers are up-to-date.
7. Water testing is done at least once every quarter of a year to ensure potable water is used ion all the preparation of food.
8. Food testing should be done internally, at least once in a month. As per the FSS Act, food testing is required to be done annually.
9. Pest Control is done as per the workplaces own pest control plan and records are maintained.
10. Equipment and containers used for food preparation and storage should be:
-Preferably stainless steel
-Food grade / ISI mark
11. Properly fitted with cover or lid to prevent contamination
12. Have annual maintenance contracts wherever applicable e.g.water purifiers
13. Purchase all raw and processed food materials from FSSAI registered vendors
14. All incoming materials shall meet the requirements as laid down under FSS act, 2006
15. Cleaning, washing, thawing, and cross-contamination of food should be considered and taken care of by the food vendors.
16. Raw food/ meat/poultry, ready-to-eat foods should be kept separate at all times.
17. Raw meat/poultry should be kept below ready-to-eat food in the refrigerator.
18. Hands should be thoroughly washed before switching from preparing non-vegetarian products to any other activity.
19. Work surfaces, chopping boards and equipment should be thoroughly cleaned before preparing food and after it has been used.
20. Separate colour-coded chopping boards and knives should be used for raw fruit/vegetables/ meat/poultry and ready-to-eat food.
The traits of a good food vendor can be easily distinguished if the above 20 criteria are fulfilled. A Corporate should definitely oversee all the issues lead to several consequences. A proper plan of action for all the food processing activities should be carried to attain food safety and hygiene levels.
Orange Book is the Gospel of Truth for all the Corporates who are aiming at higher productivity. So we assume you would start using it as soon as possible.
For more such queries pertaining to food issues and more at the corporate level, we are just a call away.
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