Remember the video on a juice vendor in Mumbai that went viral in March this year?
Here’s a quick flashback for those who did not see it.
A Mumbaikar recorded a man using water from the tank placed over a food stall on a platform at Kurla railway station to prepare lime juice. The person was also seen squeezing lemons in a drum and stirring the mixture with his bare hands.
As a result, the Central Railway authorities acted upon the video and banned a couple of lemon and syrup-based juices at food stalls.
The topic of cleanliness and hygiene of fruit juice stalls, especially the street ones, has always been a controversial one. Several stalls across the country get reprimanded, fined or penalised throughout the year for violating the rules laid by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).
Recently, Tatabad and Ramnagar areas in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, were issued notices and guidelines by the FSSAI after the hygiene standards were found to be poor.
With the summer upon us, people turn to fruit juices. However, the flip side is the health risks accompanying them.
Hyderabad-based National Institute of Nutrition (NIN) found that 97 per cent of the fruit juice samples they tested were contaminated with pathogens like E-coli and faecal coli forms, Staphylococcus aureus and Shigella. According to a report in the Deccan Chronicle, some health risks posed by the bacterias are food poisoning and diarrhoea.
Here are ten hygiene rules/guidelines by FSSAI you should be aware of before sipping on that glass of fresh juice:
- Every juice owner has to display his/her license or any document that proves him/her as a registered juice shop owner.
- Juice should be prepared on surfaces like stainless steel and marble that does not absorb water.
- The shopkeeper has to purchase the ingredients including fruits, ice, sugar, etc. from a registered vendor. A bill of the transaction must be submitted when a food inspector comes for inspection.
- The ingredients purchased must be kept closed in food grade vessels at all times. Fruits should be kept in refrigerators and ice inside the freezer. Using thermocol to store ice is prohibited.
- When it comes to using water and ice, they should be clean. The shopkeeper should also get a report on the water and ice from a recognised lab every six months. They should keep it handy in case an inspector comes to check.
- Milk should be kept in freezers and not be used beyond expiry.
- Refrigerators and freezers should be cleaned at regular intervals.
- Every utensil and machine, including mixies and knives, should be kept safe from lizard, cockroach and rats. Waste should be disposed of daily and in a scientific manner.
- Extraction of juice from fruits that are artificially ripened using calcium carbide should be avoided along with the use of non-biodegradable items like plastic bags, cups or containers.
- A medical fitness certificate must be given to the staff. Also, individuals with skin or contagious diseases should not be hired.
If you come across any juice stall owner, who fails to follow any of the above guidelines, you can file a complaint at 1800-11-4000 or 14404. Here are other means to lodge a complaint.