Acting on the request of consumers, the Department of Food Technology and Quality Control (FTQC) has prepared a proposal for setting a code of conduct in a bid to improve the quality

of food served in hotels and restaurants. The food served in some restaurants in the capital, in spite of the exorbitant price they charge, is unhygienic.

On implementation of the proposal, restaurants would be required to follow certain standards to take care of consumers’ health. Recently, unhygienic food served in hotels and restaurants has largely been responsible for the rise in the number of people contracting ailments such as dysentery, diarrhoea, jaundice and typhoid. Once the proposal comes into effect, the FTQC also plans to offer basic instructions to hoteliers on basic hygiene.

It is however surprising that the department, despite its tall claims, has merely employed 50 food inspectors, out of which 30 are employed in the capital alone, to monitor the quality of food served in hotels. With such a small number, the department can hardly be expected to monitor thousands of restaurants in the country. Not only should the department employ enough inspectors to keep tabs on unscrupulous practices but also take harsh action against the offenders. Moreover, the department should punish traders and businessmen engaged in selling low quality food products and other consumer items.