The Gujarat government on Thursday issued a notification asking restaurants and hotels to remove “no entry” signs outside the kitchens and allow customers to inspect the level of hygiene.
The notification was issued by HG Koshia, Commissioner, Food and Drug Control Administration (FDCA). It directed concerned officials to visit restaurants and hotels in their respective areas and remove signboards announcing “No entry” or “No admission without permission” from kitchen doors.
The FDCA also asked restaurant and hotel owners to set up a transparent glass on kitchen doors so that customers could take a look from outside.
Explaining the move, Dr H G Koshia, Food Safety Commissioner, Food and Drugs Control Administration told The Indian Express, “ We are empowering the consumers with this rule. Customers are very happy with this rule as they will know how the food is being prepared and they will know how hygienic it will be. Also, we have told the restaurants to remove the board in the kitchen where it is written as a restricted area.”
He added, “We have submitted a direct letter to the Hotels and Restaurants Association of Gujarat as this rule comes under Chapter 5 of FSSA. We have submitted the letter to district designated officers and corporation regarding the same. We just want everyone to follow it.”
Gujarat Chief Minister, Vijay Rupani imposed a fine of ₹1 lakh if the orders are not implemented and followed within two weeks.
“Now hotel or restaurant owners can not stop customers from visiting the kitchen to make sure that proper hygiene is being maintained. This is important from the health point of view,” Dr Koshia said.
Southern Gujarat Hotel and Restaurant Association president Arun Shetty said, “We welcome the decision of the state government as it will benefit the customers as well as hotels and restaurants. We have issued letters to all restaurants and hotels in South Gujarat and intimated them to remove signboards outside the kitchen.”
Gujarat is the first state to implement the initiative ensuring hygienic food and clean kitchens across all eateries. The FDCA officials claim that the move is expected to have a positive impact on the sector.