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Note on Food Safety and Hygiene Practices in Agricultural Wholesale Markets India

Dr. J. S. Yadav COO, Premium Farm fresh Produce Ltd.

Markets are an essential link in the supply chain of perishables from farm to fork. These are the primary platforms where bulk of fruit and vegetable commodities are handled before being dispatched to final destinations to the ultimate consumers. Rising concern for human health and food quality standards demand good hygienic practices in the handling and management of food products. The outbreak of several diseases resulting from pathogens including bacteria, fungi, parasites, plant protection chemicals etc .can be effectively prevented through clean and hygienic handling facilities in markets including display and sales areas, public storage facilities (i.e. managing all activities associated with cleaning, disinfecting, maintenance, chilling, cooling, etc); and adopting some food safety standards.

The Codex Alimentarius Commission (established in 1963 by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO)) has adopted Recommended International Code of Practice General Principles of Food Hygiene CAC/ RCP -1 for the all foods concerning food safety and consumer protection. The Code identifies the essential principles of Food Hygiene applicable throughout food chain to achieve the goal of safe food suitable for human consumption. There are provisions relating to Establishment, Design, Maintenance &Sanitation, Personal Hygiene and Transportation under these principles. Countries across the globe including European Markets are highly concerned about this issue and have developed their own set of standards for the good hygienic practices for wholesale markets for fruits and vegetables. Now, it is the high time that India should take a prompt action in this concern and should frame its own set of hygiene standards for wholesale markets across

the country making Indian produce more competitive, hygienic and safe in domestic as well as international markets. To sensitize the issue of good hygienic practices worldwide, The World Union of Wholesale Markets (WUWM), The Hague, Netherlands; took an initiative and prepared a Guide to Good Hygienic Practice For Wholesale Market Management in Europe. At the WUWM Asia-Pacific Regional Working Group Meeting held in Fuzhou, China, in November, 2009, all the members of WUWM decided and agreed upon developing an Asian Regional Guide to Good Hygiene Practice for Wholesale Market Managers. Former Director NIAM (National Institute of Agricultural Marketing, Jaipur) and existing member of WUWM , Dr. J. S. Yadav, (currently working as COO, Premium Farm Fresh Produce Ltd.), shared this issue with the concerned various authorities in India including Council of State Agricultural Marketing Board (CoSAMB), NIAM and the Ministry of Agriculture, Govt. of India for further action. A copy of the said manual, prepared by the European Market has been given to CoSAMB. As the laws governing wholesale market management are different from one country to another, this basic manual now needs to be updated and redrafted in context of Indian Wholesale Markets in general and Fruits and Vegetables in particular. The details of focus areas in the hygiene manual are discussed below to understand the concept:

Focus areas in the Hygiene Manual




Details of Activities under Responsibilities of Market Management

Activity 1.Offering Premises:It consists of following main components: A: Main Hazards Two possibilities generally exist: 1. Market management is the owner of the premises and rented to the traders. 2. Traders are the owners of the premises(in the case, all aspects of the regulations relating to the premises remain their responsibilities. B: APMC Responsibilities: Design of new premises or refurbishment carried out under its control. Maintenance of premises under its ownership and/or responsibilities. Control of operation, regulation enforcement etc.

C: Reference to EU Regulation and comments:


EU Regulation 852/2004

Comments and requirements for Wholesale Market Management. Valid for new building and renewals when driven by, or under, the responsibility of wholesale market management. All aspects are important and must be suitable for the products to be handled: design materials, temperature monitoring and recording etc:

General requirement for 1.2 layout, design, sitting,

size of premises

Specific requirements for 11.1(a) to (f) processing terms of rooms layout in and

Food business are generally the owners and hence responsible for this type of equipment. Wholesale market management is generally not responsible for


the choice or maintenance of the equipment. Specific standards for processing rooms are much higher than for general rooms.

Cleaning, lighting,

ventilation, services,

See specific sheet

personal hygiene, waste disposal and pest control Facilities for cleaning 11.2 Generally not relevant for wholesale market

utensils& equipment

management, except in some cases for new building and refurbishing or renovating.

Activity 2. Maintenance of Premises:It consists of following main items

A: Main Hazards 1. Damage to premises (exposure to outside atmosphere, accumulation of dirt, pest harbourage, mould etc: 2. Leak or loose fittings relative to fluids, gases, drainage, etc: 3. Possible adverse chemical reactions between construction materials and products, including cleaning products; 4. Ventilations and temperature control not meeting with required levels of performance.

B: APMC Responsibilities: The Public areas are fully under the responsibility of the APMC. For the private owned areas, there are two possibilities: * APMC is owner of the premises/rented to traders: The agreement should clearly specified responsibilities concerning maintenance. * Traders is owner of the premises:- All responsibilities will remain with traders.

C: Reference to EU Regulation and comments:


EU Regulation 852/2004

Comments and requirements for Wholesale Market Management. Planned maintenance and replacement programs. Timescale to be based on the quality of materials, construction, likely usage and wear.

Maintain food premises 1.1 in good repair and


Premises should protect 1.2 (b) against: accumulation context with of the dirt, toxic

Regular monitoring, recording and maintenance for: All surface, especially walls, ceiling Leaks and loose fittings relative to fluids, gases, drainage Ventilations and temperature control system.

materials, shedding of particle, condensation

and undesirable mould Heading EU Regulation Comments and requirements for wholesale market management. When the wholesale management is responsible for installing equipments, all articles should comply with regulations relative materials allowed to be in contact with food. This includes stainless steel, food grade plastic and ceramics. See also activity 5 cleaning and disinfection. In each case a cleaning/disinfection plan has to be set in written form. The corresponding schedule should be checked and countersigned by management. This also applies when cleaning activities are contracted out to a third party

852/2004 Equipment with which V.1 (b) food comes into contact has to be so constructed so as to minimize any risk of contamination Equipment with which V.1(a) food comes into contact has to be effectively cleaned and when

necessary, disinfected

Activity 4. Temperature control:It consists of following main items A: Main Hazards 1. Risk of growth of bacteria causing food poisoning. 2. Formation of toxins due to the growth of food poisoning bacteria. B: APMC Responsibilities: Public areas are fully under the responsibility of the APMC. Private two possibilities

* Common temperature control system: total responsibilities of the APMC. Own temperature control system: Responsibilities with traders. C: References to EU Regulations and comment

Activity 5. Cleaning &Disinfection: It consists of following main items A: Main Hazards 1. Contenuation due to:* Inadequate cleaning of premises/common area/ * Inadequate design of premises making cleaning ineffective. * Improve use of chemical agents for cleaning/disinfection. B: APMC Responsibilities: Public areas are fully under the responsibility of the APMC is must define. * Where to clean internally and externally according to use. * How to clean frequency, quality. * Choice of materials internally & externally. * Design of premises to allow easy and efficient cleaning. * Traceability, audit etc. Private no direct responsibility: * Shared responsibilities on design of premises, control measures etc. * Permission form APMC for choice of chemical agents its use and storage condition in Europe. C: References to EU Regulations and comment Activity 6. Ventilation: It consists of following main items A: Main Hazards 1. Contamination of food or person due toinadequate to ventilation which includes

* Mechanical/ non-mechanical ventilation. * Ambient/cooled/refrigerated/heated air. * Filtered/non filtered air. * Public & private air. * Suitability of equipments. * Maintenance, vapour condensation, compressed fluids, trips filter etc. B: APMC Responsibilities: y y Design for public & private area. Operation, control audits.

C: References to EU Regulations and comment:

Activity 7.Lighting: It consists of following main items A: Main Hazards 1. Physical and /or microbiological contamination of food due to unsuitable lighting. B: APMC Responsibilities: Design for public & private area. Cleaning of light. Maintenance of light.

C: References to EU Regulations and comment:

Activity 8. Services: It consists of following main items A: Main Hazards 1. Food Contamination due to inadequate supply of services tooperators. 2. Services includes: Electricity, Gas, Water (hot, cold, fire fighting etc.)Drainage, Sewage etc. B: APMC Responsibilities: If potable water supply is by PA Company, adequacy to corresponding service is must.

C: References to EU Regulations and comment

Activity 9.Personality: It consists of following main items A: Main Hazards

1. Unacceptable seek of contamination offood due to staff ad other person, in particular suffering from illness or infected wounds, skin diseases etc. 2. Personal hygienic issues includes toilets wash basins, sinks, showers, clock room, clothing, jewellery etc. B: APMC Responsibilities:Limited: * Design, cleaning, maintenance, controlaudit of public area. C: References to EU Regulations and comments

Activity 10.Waste Disposal: It consists of following main items A: Main Hazards 1. Accumulation of waste and contamination of food. 2. Waste disposal includes food waste, non edible by products and refuse. B: APMC Responsibilities: y Private premises accumulation/ no responsibility But to provide facilities for removing food waste and refuse. For food waste of animal original:- specific extent of responsibility on the site on issue like: * How waste is collected * Types of containers to be used. * Cleaning and disinfecting. * Waste collection methods, frequency hours * Allocation of cost. C: References to EU Regulations and comment

To sensitize the issue of Food Safety in particular to Wholesale Markets, the following activities are recommended to be initiated at the earliest: 1. A working group should be constituted by CoSAMB (under intimation to Govt. Of India) consisting of experts (domestic/international) from legal, health, food, engineering, architectural divisions , PWD, APMC Boards, CoSAMB, food safety experts (one each from FSSAI/DMI/QUI), Private Investor, FICCI etc. 2. The terms of references must be framed in accordance with the objectives. 3. 4. 5. Arrangement of funds and sponsorships. Timeline should be decided for preparation of draft report. Discussion on draft with World Union of Wholesale Markets (WUWM) and Formulation of Hygiene standards as per WUWM. 6. 7. Finalization of report. Submission of report to Govt. of India

Further Proceedings
1. Circulation of Hygiene Standards and Guidelines in all markets of the country. 2. Implementation of such standards in initial phase as a pilot project in few markets of national importance. 3. Encouragement by the Government to new Food safety Laws and Standards in Agricultural Marketing. 4. Promotion of New Policies and Rules in this context at national level. 5. Provision for stringent monitoring and supervision.