The Bakers Association of Kerala (BAKE) has decided to ban the use of non-veg mayonnaise from raw eggs in restaurants and restaurants. Raw egg mayonnaise will not form part of any side dish either. This follows a directive to the effect issued by the food safety wing of the State government.

The death of three young people in the state in eight months from food poisoning raised a scare. These cases were reported mostly after consuming Arabian mandi-style cooked food and shawarma.

This prompted Rajeev Jayadevan, Co-chairman, National Covid Task Force past-president IMA, to tweet about precautions before taking food from street joints.

Growing popularity

If the meat is already contaminated at the assembly point, it becomes an excellent culture medium for bacteria, especially the uncooked part. As the meat is assembled off-site, there is no way of telling if it was done hygienically, or kept overnight after slow sales the previous day, Jayadevan cautioned.

Mandi and shawarma have gained huge popularity in recent times in the state. It was in this context Health Minister Veena George called a meeting here of representatives of hotels, restaurants, wayside eateries, bakeries, and catering firms.

They unanimously agreed on the ban on non-veg mayonnaise. There are, however, restaurants and restaurants that can serve mayonnaise made with pasteurized eggs or eggless mayonnaise.

Reasons behind food poisoning

Mayonnaise is served as a side dish to the main dishes, especially Arabian cuisine. It has been faulted as the villain in many recent episodes of food poisoning. Unpasteurised, raw eggs can harbor salmonella bacteria, which multiply in hot and humid conditions.

Meanwhile, the Food Safety department has introduced the practice of affixing a ‘use-by’ label on food parcels. All food outlets must comply with the mandatory licence/registration requirement of the department. All of them should also cooperate with a newly introduced hygiene rating initiative.

The Health Minister observed that hygiene rating would offer all eateries an opportunity to showcase each other’s hygiene and food safety standards. All outlets should display the toll-free number of the Food Safety Department. All employees should have medical fitness certificates and receive training.

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