Maharashtra’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Coca-Cola India has launched a pilot project in the city to train street food vendors on food safety and good hygiene practices.
This initiative is a part of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed earlier last year by Food Safety & Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and Coca-Cola to train 50,000 street food vendors across India over next three years under the project ‘Clean Street Food’.
Under this initiative, Coca-Cola and Maharashtra FDA will train 1,200 street food vendors in Pune city in January 2018 on the aspect of safe and nutritious food enabling them to improve the quality of their offering, which will ultimately lead to increase in their earnings.
As part of this initiative, Coca-Cola India, will closely work with FDA in upgrading the eating out experience for the local populace at large. While Coca-Cola India will be responsible for the program execution through its network of trainers and available infrastructure, FDA will ensure the relevance of the training content and shall oversee the overall delivery.
On successful completion of the training, Maharashtra Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will issue a certificate to the street food vendors.
Chief Guest, Girish Bapat, Cabinet Minister for Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Protection, Food and Drugs Administration and Parliamentary Affairs, present at the launch said, ”Street Food Vendors form an integral part of our society and reflect the local food culture. While Street Food Vendors offer nutritional and affordable food to consumers, it would be highly beneficial for them to upgrade their knowledge of food safety standards and rules of hygiene. This joint initiative between FDA and Coca-Cola India is a positive step towards promoting safe and nutritious food while eating out.”
Commenting on the pilot, Pallavi Darade, Commissioner Maharashtra FDA said, “Under this program launched jointly with Coca-Cola India, we have selected Pune as the first city to launch the pilot initiative due to its vibrant and diverse food culture. Our collaboration with Coca-Cola India will help us in sensitizing street vendors on practising good hygiene and maintain cleanliness to create a good eating out experience for consumers.”
Darade further mentioned that under an earlier project ‘Bhog’ her team had raised the standards of ‘traditional Prasad’ being served in temples across the state. The world famous ‘Shree Siddhivinayak’ temple in Mumbai was the first one to adopt these initiatives and subsequently was cleared by USFDA to allow dispatch of ‘prasad’ to devotees in the United States.
The training under Clean Street Food program is delivered through a unique classroom on wheels. This customized bus is fully equipped with training pre-requisites such as a seating area, presentation zone, audio-video equipment and on-board trainers will reach out to street vendors in rural and semi-urban areas with the help of local FDA teams.
Speaking on the occasion, Ishteyaque Amjad, Vice President Public Affairs and Communication, Coca-Cola India and South West Asia said, “Our collaboration with FSSAI and various State FDAs for project ‘Clean Street Food’ is aimed at providing best practises and knowledge to street food vendors through specialised training modules enabling them grow their businesses sustainably. The initiative has been designed by keeping in mind the specific needs of the small food vendors. Coca-Cola India is committed to build capabilities and support sustainable food security programs.”
Over the next three years, the Clean Street Food project will expand to 14 other locations across nine different states through the bottling plant network of Coca-Cola India states including Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Chandigarh, Punjab, Chhattisgarh, Delhi NCR.