Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala Government has extended the deadline for availing health cards by employees of all eateries, including bakeries and wayside shacks, in the state to February 15. However, the authorities would be strictly enforcing from Wednesday their directive to display a sticker or slip on food parcels, revealing the time of preparation as well as the period within which the items should be consumed.
Earlier, Health Minister Veena George had warned outlets preparing and selling food that they would be closed down on February 1 in case their employees fail to secure health cards by January 31.
However, owners of hotels, restaurants and other eateries approached the government seeking an extension of the deadline considering the huge rush of applicants for health cards. “Considering this plea, the hotel owners have been given time till February 15 to get health cards for their staff,” said the Minister.
She also instructed all registered medical practitioners in the state to issue health cards to hotel employees after carrying out the necessary medical examination. “From February 16, stringent action will be initiated against violations of the directive on the health card,” the Minister warned.
Inspections from today
Meanwhile, inspections will be intensified in eateries across the state by Food Safety officials from Wednesday. They will also instruct employees to secure health cards by February 15, if it is not already done.
Health Inspectors under the Department of Health also will launch checks in hotels and other food outlets from February 1. They will examine the cleanliness and hygiene standards of these establishments along with health cards.
In addition, surprise inspections will take place at markets and check-posts, based on complaints received from people.