With FSSAI announcing registration for all home chefs mandatory, the industry showed a mix reaction. The food safety body has mandated state license for those below Rs 12 lakh turnover per annum and central license for those above Rs 12 lakh turnover per annum. Also, if a home chef wants to sell online a central license is required.
"I absolutely feel it's a great that the home chefs now need to get a registration done. It will absolutely put everything in process and will have a proper certification and hygiene check. During the pandemic we have seen a lot of people opening up their kitchen to serve food which I feel is good but there has to be some checkpoint as everything that goes unchecked out in the market can have their repercussion in the long run. In the West this certification is absolutely very mandatory so I don't see anything wrong if we are starting it here in India,” added Ayandrali Dutta, AD's Cookhouse, Noida.
The association shared that food operators, whether operating from home or from dark kitchens, should be regulated for cleanliness and hygiene. It also pointed out that unregistered, unregulated food business operators (FBOs) may not be maintaining hygiene standards, which is detrimental to the interest of consumers and poses health risks.
“It is very important for hygiene and safety norms to be maintained when you're cooking, more so if it's commercial. The FSSAI rules that have come into play are a welcome change. I remember getting a license / registration even before I started serving my clients. It puts your customers at ease, knowing the food is coming from a hygienic kitchen, especially now that we have a pandemic surging across the country,” shared Shaista Iqbal of Mrs Ahmed's kitchen, Gurgaon who make an overnight fame with her cooking and food.
Not only this, with covid-19 pandemic we have seen a rise in home chefs and demand for home-style food as people were left with no options to go out. Hence, mandating these small platforms to get registered will not only boost confidence in them but also give a trusted platform to people from where they can choose their food.
“Mandatory registrations for home chefs are a good decision, and would boost more confidence. I have been selling my homemade preservative free pickles from last year with an FSSAI registration. But to say that unregistered food business may not be hygienic is totally unacceptable. this pandemic gave birth to many home chefs and I believe we home chefs take extreme care of hygiene while cooking,” added Rajani Jain of Chatori Rajani, Delhi who uses freshest ingredients as she cook on order basis and not in bulk. “Most of the cleaning, chopping and cooking is done by self since we are very cautious of hygiene. Most of my clients who order food are those who have been following my recipe videos, they feel it's safe to order from me since now they have an insight of how I cook and maintain my kitchen,” she added.