• The Quality Council of India (QCI) has come out with a scheme for approval of hygiene rating audit agencies with an aim to help consumers take informed decisions regarding food outlets where they prefer to eat by encouraging businesses to improve hygiene and safety standards.
• The scheme has been launched by QCI at the behest of Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).
• It has been launched to scale up Hygiene Rating by increasing the number of recognized HRAA in the country.
• Recognised HRAA will be responsible for verifying the compliance with food hygiene and safety procedures (under Food Hygiene Rating Scheme) laid by FSSAI and get Hygiene Rating.
• Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (launched in 2019) is a certification system for food businesses supplying food directly to consumers.
• Food businesses are rated on the basis of food hygiene and safety conditions found at the time of inspection, and given a score between 1 and 5 as per their hygiene and food safety compliance.
• It is applicable for food service establishments such as hotels, restaurants, cafeterias, dhabhas, sweet shops, bakeries and meat retail stores.
Significance of the scheme:
• Enable consumers to make informed choices/decisions pertaining to the food outlets where they eat.
• Encourage food businesses to adopt high hygiene standards and to sustain them to showcase the same to consumers.
Mains Paper 2: National
Prelims level: Hygiene rating audit agencies
Mains level: Significance of the scheme