To Do or Not to Do – Health Check-Ups for All Food Handlers

If you have ever eaten street food in any part of the country from roadside food handlers, there is one thing which, by default, you must have heard. It is probably the grossest thing, but sadly, we tend to find humour in this. Everytime.

Food handlers

Pani – Puri wale ne apna khoon PASINA daala hai isme. Isliye ye tasty hai” (This dish is tasty because there are his blood and ‘sweat’ in it). A common joke, which ghastly means that the food served roadside by the hawkers is presumed to be unsafe and full of contaminants. And we seem to enjoy it.

Let us take a step back and look at some of the common diseases and the unhygienic practices adopted by the Food Handlers which cause them –

1. Poor Hygienic Practices
2. Lack of knowledge on proper Food Handling Temperatures
3. Cross-contamination due to use of unwashed equipment
4. Procurement of raw materials from unreliable sources and of poor quality
5. Use of dirty cloth for wiping the services
6. Non-adherence to FSSAI regulations

These unsafe practices, single or combined, lead to several minor and major diseases and disorders, like –

1. Gastrointestinal disorders, like Diarrhoea, Food-poisoning, Gastroenteritis, etc
2. Hepatitis
3. Chest and Respiratory disorders
4. Poisoning of the Blood
5. In extreme cases, viral contamination can cause failure of organs
6. Jaundice

In 2012, FSSAI had issued a circular which mentioned that every Food Manufacturing Business should get their employees who directly handle food, demonstrate fitness for the work. This means that apart from maintaining personal hygiene, the food handlers must be healthy and devoid of any illnesses and disorders that can spread by the medium of food and water.

This circular also says that irrespective of the safety precautions taken at any food unit, be it catering, manufacturing/processing, transport or service, a mandatory medical examination is the only way to validate the food handlers and the safety claimed by the owner.

Food Production

According to an FSSAI Spokesperson, food handlers must be vaccinated against enteric diseases, in the absence of which no certificate shall be provided.

These tests should be conducted annually by every food business owner and food handler, to ensure safety and hygiene for all.

Whether or not this regulation is followed, is something that needs to be checked by the Authorities.

What harm does Poor Food Handling cause the Corporate Companies?

Corporate Hygiene Practices

Several. To begin with, every employee depends, to some extent, on the canteen food. The long working hours have resulted in an increased dependency on the food prepared inside or around the premises of the company.

The unsafe food can cause –

1. An increase in the health-related disorders can lead to employees falling sick often
2. This can cause increase in the absenteeism
3. A higher level of absenteeism will cause a project delay and increase in the Turn Around Time (TAT). This, in turn, shall cost the company in terms of revenue, quality of work and brand equity.

Those companies not having a canteen inside their premises have to keep a watchful eye on the food consumed by their employees. These food corners can be a site harboring with germs and contaminants.

1. Get these places checked for safety and presence of a License
2. Make sure there is one Food Safety Supervisor trained under the FoSTaC Training Programme (To know more about the mandatory training programme, visit
3. Develop a partnership with the food joints to prepare safe and healthy food for the people.

Those corporate companies with a canteen service inside the premise, can better facilitate with the streamlining of the food procurement and preparation. Third-party audits, licensed vendors, adherence to the safety norms and regulations are some of the common practices that should be observed by the facility team of the company.

Health of Food handlers

FSSAI initiated FoSTaC Training programme is started recently in 2017, which mandates the trainings on food handling and related aspects. Take a look at all the programmes which are now mandatory for every food business operator.

In case you have any queries on any of the above points, feel free to call us on +91 82916 31145.

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