India gears up for a new street food revolution
New Delhi: Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya reviewed the ‘Food Street Project’ to develop 100 healthy and hygienic food streets across the country with senior officers of Health Ministry and Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). The aim of this project is to encourage safe and healthy food practices among food businesses and community members, thus, reducing foodborne illnesses and improving the overall health outcomes.
To operationalize the food streets, the National Health Mission (NHM) of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare will provide an assistance of Rs. 1 crore per food street as a pilot project to support 100 such food streets at different locations across the country. The grant will be routed under NHM, in the ratio of 60:40 or 90:10, with the condition that branding of these food streets will be done as per FSSAI guidelines.
The financial assistance would be provided for activities such as provision of safe drinking water, hand washing, toilet facilities, tiled flooring of common areas, appropriate liquid & solid waste disposal, provision of dustbins, using billboards, façade preparation and signage of permanent nature, common storage space, lighting, specialized carts for specific type of trades, branding etc.
The initiative will be implemented through NHM in convergence with Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA), apart from FSSAI’s technical support. The technical assistance will include assistance in designing of food streets, preparation of an SOP and providing training under Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) protocol.
Street food has been an integral part of the Indian food culture and has played an immense role in sustaining and shaping the Indian food economy. It is not only a source of affordable and delicious food for millions of Indians but also a major contributor to the country’s economic growth. With rapid urbanization, street food hubs have led to an easy access to food but food safety and hygiene at these hubs remain a matter of concern.
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has taken various steps to improve the hygiene and food safety standards protocols for food street hubs. These initiatives include training of food handlers, independent third-party audits, and certification under Clean Street Food Hub initiative of the Eat Right India movement.