Food Safety regulations compliance a must for Dansal | Sunday Observer

Food Safety regulations compliance a must for Dansal

Dansala organizers have been requested to strictly adhere to Food regulations when making their Atapirikas offerings, and ensure that the food and drinks served to the public are safe and do not carry food borne disease risks, Health Ministry sources told the Sunday Observer, Friday.

Director, Food Safety, Ministry of Health, Dr Sapumal Dhanapala said, following directives of the Director General Health Services, a Medical Officer of Health ( MOH) and Public Health Inspector ( PHI) were assigned to the different localities islandwide and authorized to inspect the premises where dansalas are to be held to ensure they are safe environmentally and hygienically. “They have to be registered with us before the date of the dansala, instead of waiting to do so after they have already chosen the site so that our MOHs and PHIs can ensure that the site selected is suitable”, he said.

Since cooking on a mass scale requires certain skills and experience, he said dansala organisers had been advised to obtain the services of cooks experienced in large scale cooking with minimum health risks to the diners. “ They must make sure the food served does not contain preservatives, artificial sweeteners or colouring agents. The same rule applies to fruit juice dansalas. Only natural flavours are allowed,” he stressed.

He added that the public should be more vigilant when purchasing any food ahead of Vesak which falls on April 29, in the open market. “Read the labels. Make sure they carry expiry dates, date of manufacture, address of manufacturer and the ingredients used,” he emphasized.

“A 24 hour hotline is accessible to any member of the public if he/she has a complaint regarding food sold during the season. Call 1710107107. Our officers will take immediate action if you make that complaint from anywhere,” he said.

Consumer Affairs Authority ( CAA) sources also said that food raids ahead of Vesak had commenced.