Medi-snippets: Registration mandatory for food sales outlets | Sunday Observer

Medi-snippets: Registration mandatory for food sales outlets

12 January, 2020

Starting from January 1 2020, all tea shops, restaurants, hotels, canteens, eateries, etc. are required to register with the Medical Officer of Health ( MOH) through the Public Health Inspector (PHI) of the relevant area, Environmental, Occupational Health and Food Safety Director, Dr Lakshman Gamlath told the Sunday Observer.

He said registration would be given only for those who meet Government standards and one year would be given to outlets who have failed to do so, to get their acts right.

He said the colour code system for sugar, salt and fat would be introduced for solid food from the same date.

Explaining the colour code for food, he said all solid food packets were now required to display green (safe), amber (in between) and red colour (danger) when displaying the amount of sugar, starch and salt which would be as follows:

“This requirement is to give customers a better understanding of what they are buying and to choose what is healthy for them. If they still wish to buy foods without checking the colour code, irrespective of our warning, they are free to do so at their risk. But it is our duty to warn them, so they can make a responsible choice,” he said..

National Obesity Awareness

National Obesity AwarenessWeek starts on the second Monday of January each year and runs for the full week. This year’s event begins on the 14th through to the 20th.

NCDs are estimated to account for 75% of total deaths in Sri Lanka

In Sri Lanka, noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) cause more than three quarters of all deaths and nearly 1 in 5 people die prematurely from NCDs.

In October 2015 the United Nations Inter agency Taskforce on NCDs conducted a mission to Sri Lanka and concluded that the epidemic of NCDs has now become a serious economic as well as public health issue in the country and is fuelled by tobacco use, unhealthy diet, harmful use of alcohol and physical inactivity. More than one third of adult males in the country are tobacco users.

One out of three people have raised blood pressure, and a third of women are overweight. Consumption of salt is two to three times higher than that recommended. Sri Lanka has set up an operational NCD mechanism within the Ministry of Health to tackle the burden caused by these statistics.

It also has an operational action plan to reduce tobacco use, unhealthy diet, harmful use of alcohol and physical inactivity. Leading the fight against NCDs through Healthy Lifestyle Centres, the Ministry of Health is now expanding opportunities for the public to access free facilities to ensure that we can minimise NCDs to a new low in the near future, Ministry officials told the Sunday Observer.