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Centre rolls out scheme to set up 100 clean food streets in states

Photo for representation

In a significant and innovative move, the Union Health Ministry in collaboration with the Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs has requested states and UTs to develop 100 food streets in 100 districts across the country to set an example in serving hygienic and healthy food,   according to an official statement issued today.

Most of the states such as Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Maharashtra have been asked to develop 4 food streets while Delhi will get three and Goa two.

“This initiative is being taken up as a pilot project to create an example for other such streets to come up across the country for ensuring hygienic and safe food practices. 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.

The financial assistance for the initiative to States/UTs in the form of Rs.1 crore per food street/districts will be given to fill up critical gaps. This assistance will be provided under National Health Mission (NHM) in the ratio of 60:40 or 90: 10 with the condition that standard branding of these food streets will be done as per FSSAI guidelines.

This unique initiative will be implemented through National Health Mission (NHM) in convergence with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs and with technical support from FSSAI.

In a letter to states, Rajesh Bhushan, Union Health Secretary and Manoj Joshi, Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs Secretary have highlighted that “Easy access to safe and hygienic food is vital for the good health of citizens. Safe food practices not only promote “eat right campaign” and food safety, but will improve hygiene of local food businesses, boost local employment, tourism and in turn the economy. It also leads to a cleaner and greener environment.”

Food safety and hygiene at street food outlets and  hubs remain a matter of concern. With rapid urbanization, while these hubs have led to easy access to food, this has also aggravated the issue of food contamination and associated health issues due to unhygienic and unsafe food practices.