Food Minister Sadhan Chandra Majumder awarded green stickers to 18 restaurants, and blue stickers to 39 restaurants
The Bangladesh Food Safety Authority (BFSA) on Sunday launched a restaurant grading system to help consumers determine the hygiene and quality of food at eateries.
Food Minister Sadhan Chandra Majumder inaugurated the launching ceremony of the system held in Dhaka, and officially awarded 57 restaurants after intense scrutiny by the BFSA, with green and blue coloured stickers.
The coloured stickers—green, blue, yellow, and orange—symbolize the grades A+, A, B, and C respectively. The green sticker stands for 'excellent' and is only awarded to restaurants that score 90 points or above, while the blue sticker represents 'good' and is awarded to restaurants that receive 80–89 points.
A yellow sticker represents an 'average' score of 60–79 points, while orange stands for a pending grade for restaurants which score 59 points or lower.
Highlighting the need for more manpower, Food Minister Sadhan Chandra Majumder said that many food control officers at the district and upazila levels can also be used to ensure quality food production. He also urged cooperation of the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Health.
Restaurants will be given points based on 10 criteria: necessary proof or certification documents, staff hygiene, approved sources, relative contamination, cleanliness, processing procedures and temperature control, equipment and machinery, chemical substances, pest and insect control, and drainage and pipe management.
Speaking at the event, BFSA Chairman Mohammad Mahfuzul Hoque also announced that they will launch a mobile app to help consumers determine the grades of nearby restaurants.
The system has been implemented in the capital's Motijheel, Dilkhusha, and Paltan areas. The green stickers were awarded to 18 restaurants including Kosturi, Handi, Kinnori, Hotel Asia and Resources, and seven branches of Burger King. As many as 39 restaurants have been awarded blue stickers.
“We will review the grading of restaurants to ensure continuous hygiene and quality maintenance. If the authority finds any negligence after grading, restaurants will lose their grade. Similarly, a restaurant may also improve and be eligible to move up to the next level in the grading system,” said Mahfuzul.
Restaurants with yellow stickers will be given three months to improve, but restaurants with orange stickers will be given just one month. “If these [C-graded] restaurants fail to improve, then their establishments will be barred from operating,” the BFSA chairman added.
Speaking at the event, Bangladesh Restaurant Owners Association (BROA) Secretary General, M Rezaul Karim Sarkar Robin, said grading will help encourage restaurant owners to comply with BFSA standards.