ABDUL WAKEEL

LAHORE - After a successful sweep in the provincial capital, the Punjab Food Authority is going to extend its power to other major cities.

“The PFA has sent a summary to the chief minister for allocation of funds so that it could be able to operate in other major cities like Faisalabad, Rawalpindi, Multan and Gujranwala,” Food Safety Officer Komal Rizwan told The Nation yesterday.

She added that more jobs will soon be announced through Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC) or National Testing Center (NTS).

Established under the Punjab Food Authority Act 2011, the authority came to spotlight last year when its squads exposed the sale of animal meat and blemishing business of other substandard foodstuff in the metropolis.

During the past three month, the PFA raided 5,700 food outlets including bakeries, hotels, restaurants and marriage halls while 3,200 were served improvement notices and 120 were sealed by the authority.

However, the authority still lacks staff. “Only seven food safety officers, 12 assistant food safety officers and 70 general administrative officials, including computer operators and divers have been working for the authority,” said Ms Rizwan.

For the purpose, she added, a demand proposal was sent to the finance department.

She further claimed that the authority’s action brought in betterment. “Food outlet owners have been following the instructions written to them to meet the hygienic needs while public awareness drive is also underway. Food outlets are also using packing material and pasted expiry date on them,” she told The Nation.

Moreover, the PFA has categorised the restaurants and certificates will be displayed at these outlets.

The A-category outlets would be 90 percent satisfactory, which would be visited after three weeks. The B-category (55 percent satisfactory) outlets would be visited after 55 days, while the C-category ones would be visited after two weeks.