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21 January, 2019 00:00 00 AM
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Quality control

Grading system introduced in 57 city restaurants

SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT, Dhaka
Grading system introduced in 57 city restaurants

The government has introduced a new grading system in the city’s  restaurants to ensure safe and quality food for consumers. Intitially, 57 restaurants in the city’s Motijheel, Dilkusha, Paltan and secretariat areas have been selected. Among them, 18 will obtain the ‘A+’ (green) sticker and 39 restaurants the ‘A’ (blue) sticker. With the new stickers, the consumers could easily identify the restaurants and know whether it would be safe to take food in one of these hotels and restaurants.

The hotels and restaurants to receive Grade ‘C’ could be easily identified as unsafe for taking food. Food minister Shadhan Chandra Majumder yesterday inaugurated the grading system at a city hotel. The event was organised by the Bangladesh Safe Food Authority (BSFA). Food ministry secretary Shahabuddin Ahmed chaired the function.

The authorities concerned have enlisted all the city’s hotels and restaurants in four categories—‘A+’ (Green), ‘A’ (Blue), ‘B’ (Yellow) and ‘C’ (Orange). As part of the system, coloured stickers—green, blue, yellow and orange— will be used to signify the grades of ‘A+’, ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’ respectively awarded to the restaurants after scrutiny.  

‘A+’ would mean excellent, ‘A’ (good), ‘B’ (average) and ‘C’ (grade pending). The grading system has been devised on the basis of quality of food, waiters' health, purity, cleanliness, decoration and kitchen condition.

“The quality of food, cleanliness and environment of the hotels and restaurants must be maintained. The owners must give up their greed of earning more profit by serving low-quality food,” said Shadhan Chandra Majumder.

Dhaka South City Corporation mayor Sayeed Khokon said the business of restaurants holding ‘A+’ and ‘A’ grade stickers will increase. “None can give guarantee that 5-10 per cent of restaurants holding good grades won’t lower their food quality. So, the BSFA authorities must continue their monitoring activities on a regular basis,” he added.

Former food minister Qamrul Islam, who was the special guest of the function, said: “As former food minister, I was also involved in this process. The grading system is a scientific method; it would help provide safe food in city restaurants.”

He added that he had conducted mobile courts to ensure safe food for the people.

“It is an international-standard grading system. The restaurants awarded with yellow stickers will get three months to upgrade their quality, while those given the orange sticker will get one month to do the same. If they fail to do so, their registrations will be scrapped,” said BFSA chairman Mohammad Mahfuzul Hoque.

In developed countries, such restaurant grading systems are already in place, he added. He further said restaurant owners had demanded a permanent solution while conducting mobile courts. Hoque said the BFSA authorities are currently running a pilot project on the system in some areas of the city and its adjacent areas which will be gradually expanded across the country.

Additionally, a smartphone is all that one needs to have to pick the most hygienic restaurants around. The BFSA is developing a mobile app through which people would be able to track a particular restaurant's grade. There are more than 10,000 registered restaurants in Dhaka and many more are operating without any registration. All those will be eventually  brought under the system, added Hoque.

The BFSA has set a 53-point checklist of compliance standards under 10 heads that include necessary proof/certification documents, individual hygiene, approved source, relative contamination, cleanliness, processing procedures and temperature control, equipment/machinery, chemical substance, pests and insects control, drainage and pipe management.  Restaurants with a score of 90 and over will make ‘A+’ grade, 80 points and up will get Grade ‘A’, between 55 and 79 points will get Grade ‘B’ and between 45 and 54 points will get Grade ‘C’.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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