You might be aware of the Mumbai juice vendor video, which went viral recently. In this video, the juice vendor was found preparing lime juice in a very unhygienic way. He was preparing the juice with his bare hands and dirty water stored in the water tanks on the rooftop of the canteen. The video was shot by a railway commuter and he posted this on a micro blogging site, tagging the Central Railways official Twitter account. The video spread like wildfire and caught the attention of many people in India.
The Central Railways has now banned the sale of lemon juice and other artificial syrup-based juices, at all of its stations. The railways had imposed a fine of Rs 5 Lakh on the vendor.
The cleanliness and hygiene at fruit juice stalls has become a serious concern, as intake of unhygienic juice can lead to various health issues like food poisoning and diarrhoea. According to the Mumbai civic body, nearly 81% of juices and drinks being sold at roadside stalls in Mumbai are unsafe for human consumption.
Keeping all this in mind, FSSAI had formulated rules for hygiene at juice shops. If you are the one who drinks juice at juice shops, you must be aware of these guidelines.
1. According to the guidelines, it is mandatory for all juice vendors to display their license or any other document, which confirms he is a registered juice shop owner.
2. In order to maintain proper hygiene, the vendors can prepare juice only on surfaces like stainless steel and marble as they do not absorb water.
3. The ingredients like sugar, fruits, and ice must be purchased only from the registered vendors. The shopkeeper must submit the bill of transaction to food inspectors, when they come by for inspection.
4. It is mandatory to store the ingredients in the closed food grade vessel. Ice must be placed in the freezer and fruits in the refrigerator. Ice cannot be stored in thermocol.
5. Water and ice used in the preparation of juice must be very clean. Every 6 months, the juice vendor must get a report on the water and ice from a recognized lab. The report must be shown to inspectors, when they come by for an inspection.
6. Milk must be used before the expiry date and it should be kept in freezers all the time.
7. Refrigerators and freezers must be very clean.
8. Utensils and machines like mixers and knives used to prepare juice must be kept safe from rodents, cockroaches, and lizards.
9. Extraction of juice from fruits that are artificially ripened using calcium carbide must be avoided, along with the use of non-biodegradable items like plastic bags, cups or containers.
10. The use of non-biodegradable items like plastic cups, bags, or containers should be avoided.
11. Each staff member must be given a medical fitness certificate and people with skin diseases or other infectious diseases must not be hired.
In case you find any juice shop vendor, not adhering to these guidelines, you can lodge a complaint at 1800-11-4000 or 14404.
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