Selling home cooked food on social media is trending these days in Pakistan, especially in Lahore. Anyone having decent cooking skills can easily make some extra money by selling their special food items through Facebook and Instagram pages.
The colorful pictures of food look very tempting on social media and mostly the customers leave a positive feedback, as they compare the price to value ratio with famous restaurants and bakeries.
These people are offering every kind of food, including breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, bakery items, cakes and frozen items.
However, this food selling practice is going unchecked by the food authorities. Customers don’t have any idea about what’s going on in the kitchens, how clean and hygienic the place was where food was processed, what was the expiry dates of the ingredients and the medical condition of person cooking or handling the food.
The Punjab Food Authority says that every food business need to obtain a license in order to run and this license shall be renewed annually. Moreover, there should be a proper kitchen setup with clean and hygienic working conditions. Unfortunately, the authority didn’t have a specific category mentioned on its website for this kind of business.
As a result, the majority of people selling food items on social media think this rule didn’t apply on them as they are not manufacturing food in a commercial way. Same is the case with taxes, these people pay no taxes despite charging commercial prices for their food.
Online Food Sellers Should Obtain Licences:
Director General Noorul Amin Mengal of Punjab Food Authority says that no extra legislation is required to handle online food businesses.
The authority has given dead line of July 5 to all online food sellers to obtain their licenses. After that PFA carry out food surveillance through sampling and raids will be carried out on any premises to check hygienic and cleanliness conditions of the kitchens.