Ind-Expo Certification (Pvt) Ltd, the registered centre of the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health UK, is implementing a grading system for food catering and handling establishments according to the level of hygienic practices assuring the general public and the tourists of safety in food consumption and for a better image for businesses.
Business chambers, including the Ceylon National Chamber of Industries (CNCI) and National Chamber of Exporters of Sri Lanka (NCE), joined hands with Ind-Expo Certification (Pvt) Ltd with the assistance of the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) to support the Colombo Municipal Council to improve hygienic conditions of food establishments within the City of Colombo. The venture is funded by the Royal Norwegian Government.
This was revealed at a press conference convened on Monday to announce the launch of' 'crowns (accolades)' for food hygiene project. Seventeen food outlets will be presented with crowns for following best hygienic practices at the launching ceremony on September 21 in Colombo . CMC’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Pradeep Kariyawasam said,. “the UK 'Scores on the Door Scheme' will be the criteria for the selection of food outlets to be presented with Crowns for food hygiene and the CMC had identified 1,000 food outlets in Colombo, of which 150 maintained the stipulated standards” .
Ind-Expo Certification (Pvt) Ltd, Chairman, A. K. Ratnarajah told The Business Times that with consumers becoming increasingly concerned over the cleanliness of food, the need to improve food safety in Colombo City was identified as a must by the Chief Medical Officer of Health and a programme focusing on food inspection, food analysis, health education and law enforcement has been introduced and a certificate of commendation issued to many food outlets and restaurants.
The programme of issuing this certificate will be further streamlined and it will be upgraded to Social Accountability Standard (SA8000) in the long term. The CMC with the assistance of Ind-Expo Certification (Pvt) Ltd will focus its attention on upgrading food safety standards of the catering services operating within the CMC limits. It includes upgrading the facilities, training on food hygiene, developing hygiene (GMP) and food safety (HACCP) systems and training of inspectors, he added.
The new EU food safety regulations with provisions concerning trace ability, hygiene and control will place additional pressure on enterprises in developing countries to comply with EU requirements, said National Director UNIDO Nawaz Rajabdeen.
He said that one of the aims of the UNIDO project under the Integrated Programme is to provide an independent certification body with management inputs and ownership from the private sector such as Ceylon National Chamber of Industries and National Chamber of Exporters.