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Improving food safety in Bangladesh

Handover of street food carts to the Barisal City Corporation


03/12/2016

The FAO Food Safety Programme has been supporting street food vending initiatives since 2012 in Bangladesh. The initiative focusses on training of street food vendors in Good Hygienic Practices and distribution of hygienic street food carts with a registration or license. This is followed by the setting up of monitoring systems with the involvement of city corporation officials and school children.

Barisal is the third city in which this initiative has been rolled out after Khulna and Dhaka (both North and South). Earlier this year, FAO and Barisal City Corporation (BCC) conducted a survey of street food vendors and chose 215 vendors, most of whom plied their businesses in public areas and near schools. The vendors were then provided training in GHP through workshops that included exposure to the 5 keys to safer food (WHO), the use of the hygienic street food cart and utensils procured by FAO and the importance of ensuring safe water and environmental cleanliness. The officials of the BCC were sensitized to supervising the vendors and their practices in a friendly way and suggest ways of improvement, where necessary. 

       On 22 November 2016, the Mayor of Barisal, Mr. Ahsan Habib Kamal, handed over 108 carts and their licenses to trained vendors at a special ceremony in the city. The licenses include a declaration signed assuming responsibility for serving hygienic street food. The Mayor, in his lively speech, directly spoke to the vendors and urged them to adhere to the Code of Practice and set an example for other street food sellers. Other key officials of the local administration including the Deputy Commissioner of Police, the Civil Surgeon and the Chairman of the District Administration also spoke on the occasion and extended support to the initiative. Earlier, Prof. Shah Monir Hossain, Senior National Advisor, FAO delivered a presentation on the survey of street food vendors which included detailed information on their knowledge, attitude and practices. He explained how the survey will help BCC and FAO to develop activities that will elevate the general level of hygiene practices among most street food vendors. The Senior Technical Advisor of the FAO Food Safety Programme, Mr. Prem Sharma and the Lead Technical Officer, Mr. Sridhar Dharmapuri also spoke at the occasion.

      The FAO Food Safety Programme warmly thanks all officials of the BCC, especially the Chief Health Officer, for their excellent organization of the event.