Punjab Food and Drug Administration (PFDA) on Sunday prohibited the online food supply from food business operators (FBOs) and online food supply aggregators (OFSAs) which are not hygienically rated.
Food and Drug Administration Commissioner KS Pannu said prohibition orders are being issued, keeping in view the interest of public health.
Thus, the distribution/supply/sale of food items through OFSAs from those FBOs who have not been rated on hygiene has been prohibited.
In a statement, KS Pannu said: "It is the moral responsibility of FBO and OFSAs to ensure quality and hygiene of food delivered."
"However, the duty is also cast upon the state authorities to ensure safe food to the public under Section 18(1)(a) of Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006," he said.
The PFDA Commissioner said that all OFSAs had been advised to ensure that the FBO from where they source food for distribution has a good hygiene rating. The OFSAs are allowed to source and supply the food from only those FBOs who secure at least three smilies out of five smilies in the matter of hygiene rating.
"The date of getting the hygiene rating of the FBOs done was extended to October 31, 2019.
However, it has been observed that even after creating awareness regarding the importance of hygiene rating, OFSAs have not taken the matter seriously, resulting in consumers continuously facing the potential of delivery of unsafe/unhygienic food," a Punjab government release said.
This mechanism of distribution of food by OFSAs has relaxed the responsibility of maintaining the quality of food, which to date was being directly verified by the consumers, the release said.
It further stated that with the introduction of OFSAs, it has become important to ensure that the aggregators supply only good quality and proper hygienic food items to the consumers.
KS Pannu said that the prohibition orders would be effective in the entire state of Punjab for the period of one year, starting from April 30.
(With inputs from ANI)