Restaurants, eateries, tea kiosks, cafeterias and bakeries are to be graded based on the quality and cleanliness of the foods and drinks they sold by the health ministry to ensure consumers purchase the best and hygienically prepared food from these places, a spokesman said.
Accordingly, all food and drink parlours will be graded into A.B.C.D. after an inspection carried out on national level on November 28, 29 and 30 covering all districts, Health Ministry spokesman W.M.D. Wanninayaka said today.
The programme is being carried out on the instructions of Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena following a large number of complaints received by him from almost all parts of the country, he said.
“The complainants have pointed out that they and their children suffered food poisoning after having consumed food and beverages bought from food outlets on the roadside. There were instances where people mainly school children had to be treated at hospitals after consuming unhygienic or stale foods,” he said.
Having considered many options to prevent this situation at the monthly progress review meeting, Minister Sirisena instructed Director General of Health Dr. Ajith Mendis to conduct an island wide survey on the quality of foods and the cleanliness of the places they are sold at and grade them for the consumers to choose what foods they buy and from where, Mr. Wanninayaka said.
The grades given to restaurants, hotels and cafeterias are required to display prominently for the consumers to identify them easily. The lowest grades C and D will be given to eateries that are extremely unhygienic and that sold substandard food, he added.
Food and drink parlours that fail to maintain the minimum hygienic and quality standards will be sealed and the owners will be prosecuted under the food Act, Mr. Wanninayaka said. (Sandun A. Jayasekera)