Code of practice for hotels soon

KATHMANDU: Of late, the government is working out a 'code of practice' which when implemented would make it mandatory for all restaurants and hotels to maintain quality and minimum standards of food they serve to public.

"We are doing a homework to introduce the first ever Hotel and Restaurant Code of Practice in Nepal," said an official at the Department of Food Technology and Quality Control (DFTQC).

The move comes in the wake of public outrage over hotels and restaurants serving ill-fated food. DFTQC is the only state-owned mechanism entrusted with responsibility of drafting the first ever Code of Practice, which will help the law enforcement agency to combat unscrupulous hoteliers and restauranteurs playing with their clients. The Code of Practice has already been formulated and is awaiting stakeholders signatures to become operational. "It will be introduced once the stakeholders sign agreement in this regard.

We are soon holding talks with the stakeholders," informed Pramod Koirala, senior food researcher at DFTQC.

Koirala added that the Code of Practice would apply rules to all categories of restaurants and hotels and they are based on international standard. On our part too, we will keep a vigil over them and monitor personal hygiene of employees to ensure that the food they serve meets safety standards.

Among other things, the proposed Code of Practice will ban on the use of food colours not prescribed by the Food Act- 2023. "We have found that many hotels and restaurants have been using the hazardous food colours. To make the matter worse, they cook the dish items once mixed with the colours. Such practice can cause long-term health implication," Koirala revealed. It will require the hoteliers and restauranteurs to store the foodstuffs in line with the prescribed rules.