HAQ NAWAZ SHINWARI
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Food Safety and Halal Food Authority’s Monitoring and Evaluation department, on Sunday, issued a detail report over canteens situated inside the premises of different university’s campuses. The report suggests that water filtration plants to be installed/repaired inside the educational institutes. The report reveals that Peshawar Division teams with a mandate to ensure food safety, food hygiene and food standards, responded to online public complaints, raided over almost all Canteens in both Government and Private sector Universities in Peshawar. “Fifteen Universities and several other educational institutes were visited where more than Seventy-Eight on campus canteens were checked for food quality, premises and personal hygiene” report reads. It further says that all canteens were issued improvement notices; certain were fined on low-moderate level of food standards violation and some others were sealed due to major issues identified.
While commenting on the report Director General KP Food Authority Riaz Khan Mahsud told that four university campuses and several other colleges inside the campus of Peshawar University, are more vulnerable and students are left with no option but to take unsafe and unhygienic food. He furthered that concern quarters to be informed and warned about the alarming situations of their respective canteens failing which sever crackdown to be carried out wherever needed. He directed `director Operation Khalid Khatttak to take up the matter with concern institutes and let them know about the worst situation of their canteens.
Khalid Khan Khattak deputed a special team led by Assistant Director Dr. Murad Ali for food surveillance of the campus. Director Operations expressed that more than six hundred complaints been received from educational institutes out of which three hundred were traced and addressed at different canteens inside the campus. Giving details of the report, director operations told that no food safety and personal hygiene measures were observed at the campus canteens. The official maintained that not a single staff is being screened medically who may be a carrier of a communicable disease.
The report identified 1. Unhygienic water tanks, 2. Non-availability/Non-operational water filter, 3. Poor infrastructure condition of the premises, 4.Unhygienic conditions in Canteens/Mess, 5. Availability of banned food items i.e. nonfood grade colors inside kitchens, 6. Availability of sub-standard and expired food items, 7. Poor personal hygiene of the food handlers, 8. Provision of sub-standard food to costumers, 8. Unavailability of medical fitness certificates of the workers as the key issues.
The report also appreciates Khyber Medical College canteens on turning up for remarkable improvement. The report also suggested following recommendations to cope with the alarming situation of the canteens.
All educational institutes are directed to constitute food inspection committees for regular checkup.
All educational institutes are directed to award canteen contracts to contractors who are aware of the food safety standards and they must be bound to follow SOPs of KP-FSA.
All educational institutes are directed to improve Infrastructure where ever needed; as most of contractor’s complaint that Institute administration not allow them for any kind of infrastructure/Civil work in canteens.
4. 4. Level-1 Food Safety Training conducted by KP-FSA for food handlers to be mandatory.
5. 5. Installation of water filters and maintenance of record of filter replacement after every 3 months is mandatory.
6. 6. Return expire products on time to distributors and stop selling ban items.
7. 7. Medical screening of food handlers involved in open food handling.
8. 8. Awareness session regarding food safety and hygiene will be conducted by teams of KP FSA from time to time.
HAQ NAWAZ SHINWARI