After Mumbai, Delhi also gets a proud moment with the announcement of the ‘First Eat Right Railway Station’. Anand Vihar Terminal Railway station (ANVT), was recently declared as the first eat right station over Northern Region with an audit score of 92 %, highest across Pan-India. The Eat Right Certification (ERC) is an initiative of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) where detailed guidelines and norms have been established for certifying any station as an Eat Right Railway Station.
The certification process involves a series of activities including pre-audit checks, inspection, training and audit of the station complex as well as units where the food is handled including, catering stalls, kiosks, quick food joints, food plazas, and more. The process starts with the registration of ‘intent for the station’ to achieve an ERC with FSSAI. It is followed by the collection of primary data followed by pre-audit checks. The vendors and food handlers are given a basic level training on food safety, hygiene and sanitation practices under the Food Safety and Training Certification (FoSTaC) program.
The audit involved various parameters to assess the practices and processes followed at the Anand Vihar station. The Broad criteria involved the assessment of two areas namely: station complex, and individual food units. For the station complex, aspects related to infrastructure, quality of drinking water for passengers, facilities of public washrooms, cleanliness, and more were covered. For the food units, below parameters were assessed, checked and audited:
Food safety and hygiene check – Aspects covering infrastructure, operations control, maintenance, and sanitation, personal hygiene and training
Healthy and local food monitoring – Aspects related to the availability of healthy, fortified, local and seasonal food
Food waste reduction and management
Hindustan Unilever was involved in the process as an implementation partner and RIR certification as auditors. The detailed post-audit of ANVT was undertaken by the third party auditors on 15 January 2020 and ANVT was rated in the “Exemplary” category with a score of 92.08 % with a rating of five.
While addressing the media, chairperson FSSAI Rita Teaotia congratulated IRSDC for achieving such an exemplary score. She further highlighted “While on one hand, FSSAI has been taking several measures towards effective implementation of various regulations, targeted enforcement and compliance efforts to ensure availability of safe food. On the other hand, we are also trying to leverage partnerships across levels to ensure the safety and hygiene of food wherever it is served. FSSAI has taken a clusterization approach to ensure that the concept of Eat Right Certification (ERC) rolls-out across the country. Our partnership with Indian Railways (being one of the largest sector handling a major footfall of citizens every day) particularly with IRSDC is applauding and I must place on record their efforts towards implementation of this unique concept”. Recognizing the efforts of IRSDC, Teaotia highlighted, “This is an example of a true partnership between Government organizations in association with the private sector involving implementation partners from the industry, training providers and third-party auditors”.
Sanjeev Kumar Lohia, managing director, and chief executive officer, IRSDC mentioned, “Eat Right Certification is a unique concept and a very good initiative by FSSAI. Anand Vihar is the third Eat Right Station after Mumbai Central and Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Railway Station with the top-most ranking and we feel proud to achieve such a high score. We are glad to be associated with FSSAI and would continue to ensure that the food available across the outlets here will be prepared in the right hygiene and sanitary conditions, stored at the proper temperature and served safely.”