In independent Bangladesh, restaurants and other eateries are the freest entities, completely at liberty to do according to their sweet will in terms of food quality and price rates of the stuff they serve. A visit to posh food courts or roadside eating places will make the point clear. The restaurant owners are fully free to serve you stale food. The so called fresh foods they serve are also prepared in a most unhygienic environment with adulterated or recycled ingredients. Sometimes we hear about sporadic anti-adulteration drives but, for lack of continuity, they hardly have an impact on the unethical practices of the eatery owners.
A common witty comment about restaurants in the country is that some food items in them are as old as the restaurants themselves because, it is believed, the owners do not throw away a day’s leftover but add them to the fresh ones the next day. It is not without reasons that the owners and the stuff members of these eateries do not eat what they serve to the customers. And what is to be said about the food prices and service charges? Those are the exclusive jurisdictions of the restaurant owners. A man even in a delirium fantasy cannot remember regulatory measures in ensuring quality and fixing price of the foods and services.Against this backdrop, we hear for the first time that an initiative is on to introduce a grading system for the restaurants in the city. According to a back page story of this daily yesterday, Bangladesh Food Safety Authority (BFSA) is going to introduce a sticker system for the city’s more than seven thousand restaurants to indicate to what extent an eating house follows hygiene and food safety regulations. Under the initiative, the restaurants will be classified into three categories based on their service quality. Gradually restaurants of other cities and urban centres should also be brought under similar initiative. It may be mentioned that such grading systems are quite common around the world to help identify restaurants according to their quality. What BFSA is going to do is a most welcome initiative. It is hoped that this will help remove anarchy in the country’s catering services and ensure safe foods for the customers.