Hr Professtional
Arooj Javaid
Human Resource
Recruitment, People Management
Anil Shridhar Mulye
Consultant Finance & Hr
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Senior Manager Hr &admin

Thread Started by #tusher_majumder

Dear Seniors, I am working with a Pharma Company at Navi Mumbai having manpower of 96 employees . Recently i have been asked by Senior Management that as a HR Manager i should test the food at the canteen before other employees take breakfast and also before lunch i should test the food by eating . The reason is that if anything goes bad it will be on the HR Manager and corrective action can be taken. I had refused this as it is highly embarrassment . I had suggested that we develop an SOP to check the hygiene conditions , improve quality of spices and other eatables . But they are not convinced and are forcing me to do this food testing by eating the food as they feel as HR Manager it is my responsibility to see welfare of the people. Kindly Advice how should i convenience my Management.
16th January 2008 From India, Mumbai
Tusher, Im Surprised :(
we would abviously care for employees welfare but not to this extent, actually what if suppose the food is unhygenic & something happens to you, Is management going to wait & see what happens to you after you break your fast or Lunch, I don't think HR's should be involved in food testing.
here the question is not that something is going to happen if we test the food, but I wonder about the attitude of the management & concern towards the HR's.
What do you all say?
16th January 2008 From India, Hyderabad
Dear Tusher
I can well understand your position. This is why the role of HR Manager is challenging. I have faced the same problem and now in the process of handling it.
The main reason is the lack of management interest in cafe matters. Firstly the management should be supportive and must have a manue with canteen incharge that what will be served during whole week with prices and what will be the total weight of food? You can take help from employees by appointing some worker's representative who will regular check the food taste before it is served according to the standard and report you daily. Then with the time this operation will smooth but initially you have to take it on priority basis this is how you can have soft words from employees. Sodont worry tell me i will further assisst you.
Arooj Javaid
16th January 2008 From Pakistan, Lahore
Under the Factories Act you can form the Canteen Committe, and the committee member will bear this responsibility - Food Testing.
I thing it is directly connect with the employee satisfaction regarding the food quality. Donít worry, nothing will happened with you, if test food first of all, to avoid grievances you can shift this responsibility to committee members.
16th January 2008 From India, Mumbai
This is really unfair and not a good idea or concept.
This job can be successfully handled by Admin. person.
Best remedy is to hire a dietician on part time basis and it wont charge much also to company. he /she can also advise for put some nutrition value in food.
And do you no what? Guys there is a chains of hospital in Mh run by mangeshkar family and do you know what? They pay hardly 3000/- p.m. for 9 hrs. per day.
so I guess to pay salary for part time wont charge to your company much and atleast you don't need to do odd jobs.
16th January 2008 From India, Pune
Hi Tushar,
Hello to all! ....I am a new member to this site and would like to comment on Tushar's problem.
I agree with Mr.Arooj Javid. You should appoint a small commitee of min. 4 employees to test food, but you too must be one of them. You can change the other three members occassionally so that you get a proper feedback.
By doing this you can build a caring approach towards employees & also respect the mgmt's decision of testing food.
17th January 2008 From India, Pune
Dear Tushar,
It is basically how you view the situation. You can view it as a problem and try to refuse, suffer or wriggle out of it or you can view it as an Opportunity that may yield unexpected returns to you.
To put in perspective, in Armed forces Units the Commanding Officer (who is the senior most Officer) tastes food on a regular basis. He also nominates a senior responsible Officer to do food tasting in all Messes on a regular basis. In addition a written record of Observations is maintained that is reviewed frequently and action taken on the comments entered.
If I may suggest, you can start your new task with josh and be upbeat about it. May be after some period of time, you could involve HODs in it with a view to improve the Canteen food.
However, as you have already made known your views on the issue, I suggest you to go slow with the implementation of the strategy.
Best regards,
17th January 2008 From India, Mumbai
Dear Tushar,
I agree to what Deepak said... Give yourself a little time to plan a stratergy & implement it.. Many a times it happens that we are forced to do a task that we are not interested in doing or is not a part of our profile. Always remember "Jab seedhi ungli se ghee na nikle to ungli tedhi kar do" but for this u'll have to atleast put your finger in the bowl of ghee.
As per my views take this as a challenge, put in stratergy & handle the situation. Start doing this task for a couple of days & then slowly involve other people & then u can easily get rid of this task.
17th January 2008 From India, Ahmadabad
Dear Tushar,
I too agree with our citehr member, First start a committee with a group of 3 or 4member. Let every one join the committee in a term basis. so that they can give some suggestion. As your are HR person, you should start goin ahead with the committee . You be the 1st person to start the process, so that employee will be satisfied that HR is with us. And you be in the comittee.
All the best,
17th January 2008 From India, Bangalore
Food testing is not merely testing food poison, it means checking the quality of food etc...

and it does not mean eating a full meal,, :P :P :P

so dont worry about food testing..

in my earlier company i was HR trainee and my manager was HR manager, we had a canteen committee which checked the hygine of food, cleanliness of canteen etc..canteen committee included workers, canteen representative, and one from HR dept my HR manager, sometimes my HR manager used to tell me to go to canteen and check the food, environment there, and in our companybefore every shift the workers go and test the food and it its nice, hygenic and ok then it is approved and given as lunch, breakfast, dinner. So whenever I went with the workers to canteen they used to tell me to test food, just eat a little and approve it... coz we dont know much abt taste, and other things.

even icecream and wine tasters are there,, that does not mean necessarily that management is using u as a guenia pig,, so dont take tension,, and do the work which mgmt has given u..

seems u like to work only in AC office,, check out the air outside u will learn some things..

17th January 2008 From India, Pune
Dear Tusher,

I agree that testing of food before giving to large number of guests is a common practice followed by all of us even during wedding. Here the testing does not mean Taste. In most of the establishments having canteen facility, there are different methods adopted for ensuring proper quality of food as under:

1. To appoint a Small Committee of 3/4 employees with Manager HR as Chairman and others to fix daily menu for the week, hygiene of canteen workers, cleanliness of premises, upkeep of furniture, crockery and utensils cleaning quality, etc.

2. To appoint Canteen Manager who can do the food testing and look after other functions. This person should be of cantteen contractor.

3. If Management is staff health concious, like RBI who have Dietician who decides menu for a week and also does periodic food testing

What is important is HR Manager should take this reposibility with grace. Also suggest the ways stated above to the Management. It is always desirable to state the problem and plausible solutions to the Management lest we become unwittingly part of the problem.

Anil Mulye
17th January 2008 From India, Mumbai
It is all a question of 'attitude' and the way you look at things. I think, you have not liked the way your boss has ordered you to taste the food before it is seved to others. The boss should have only asked you to taste the food yourself, so that you could decide if it was meeting with the required standard. Then, it was left to you whether you taste it 'before' or 'along' with others.
Since you cant educate your boss, it is best to accept it in the right spirit. Once in a way,taste the food before it is seved to others, some times have a committee to do this, and sometimes, have your meal along with others and get feed back from them. Finally, adopt a policy that every one, from top boss to lowest level, has the same food. This way, you will make every one taste the same food,and based on a general feed back decide the future course of action.
Remember, it is always wise to think first and react in a positive manner.
18th January 2008 From India, Nagpur
I have gone through your statment regarding Food testing in canteen. Generally these things is managed by Admin people but again i believe that it is not a big issue for HR professionals what you have to do you have to plan for weekly menu with the help of your employees and send this menu to food vendor and check employee feedback after their lunch or dinner.
18th January 2008 From India
Dear All ,
Thanks for your valuable guidence .
I feel forming a comitee would have been the best possible situation .
Anyhow the HR team had a meeting recentely and we have decided that we will approach our Sr.Management with 2 proposals .
First we form a comitee consisting of 1 member from each Department and second idea is since ours is a Pharma R&D company , from HR we will collect the food samples from canteen at regular intervals and hand over the same to our analytical department we can analyse the food samples to check any contamination .
thanks to all for necessary guidence .
18th January 2008 From India, Mumbai
Dear Tushar
As per our Indian Law you need to follow IS : 22000 concepts, its a Food Regulatory Law, lot of checks has to be done right from raw material to till we eat the food. A separate SOP has to be prepared.
18th January 2008 From India, Visakhapatnam
Hi, I agree with Ravi.... If HR is employees friend, there is no problem in testing the food... So... test the food, eat the food.... and Enjoy... Join hands with a committee of members....
19th January 2008 From India, Madras
In our company we have tasting committee. They taste the food and give feedback immediately in a specified format and based on the feed back the canteen people will make proper changes. This will also fulfill the statutory requirement.
Our way of convincing people will also get success in this case.
19th January 2008 From Germany, Herzogenaurach
Don't mind but this is not the correct attitude towards HR either by management or by seniors. Go ahead straight forward and say that you will not do it. Because its a clear cut humiliation to HR Professionals. Its your duty to check the hygienic condition, but not at the cost of Humiliation.
With Best Regards,
Om Prakash
19th January 2008 From India, Vadodara
Dear Frineds,
We conduct micro biological test periodically for canteen food items and air through expert laboratories. These results helps us to know the hygiene level and to initiate necessary actions for further improvment. You can conduct health and hygiene audits also through these external consultants to initiate necessary actions.
20th January 2008 From Germany
Dear Tushar,

The solution which the management has found out is not the solution but there are ways to tell back the management:

If you are angry and show ur frustration may be all your efforts till date will go in vain. so calm down and may be you could try these possible solutions based on the condition and work environment.

1. Suggest that we should form a canteen community which should involve people from the higher management, yourself, and members from accross all levels of the organization

A. Who would be tasting food. Note testing and Tasting food are two different words

B. Who would conduct surprise audits of the kitchen in terms of cleanliness, hygienic methods of cooking, use of less oil and spices, No use of cooking soda( which is very common amongst canteen vendors as it leads to people who eat seem full even with a small portion of food) and use of fresh food and lots of salad and fruits.

C. Appoint a nutritionist to conduct surprise visits to the factory(belive me it will cost much lesser than what you will spend if u are caught by a food or factory inspector or health department ) and send you monthly reviews this will lead the third party vendors or people in litchen to be highly alert and lesser scope of manipulation.

D. Display the audit results and always make a point to mail it out to your management and employees (sometimes publicity does wonder !!!) and also to the person incharge of your Food and beverages. Appreciate where needed and be stern too.

E. An extra initiative by each of the committee members can also do wonders like health talk or suggesting nutritive food in the same cost. Ask for further suggestions from members to improvise and lead the cause of change....it can do many wonders to your career as well.

You would still be leading the cause yet still not at stake alone. If you would like to discuss some more ideas feel free to mail me at

Do let me know if you found the topic usefull


20th January 2008 From Singapore, Singapore
dear friends ,
i agree with you ,
you must involve employees in your committee to look at quality of the food served in your organizations canteen, this will give you more effective result
in keeping all interest of employees who are going to consume the food in
the canteen,
some times you may check the food with dietitian to valuate the
the quality of food at par health standards...
and you can take suggestions from dietitian and members to maintain
food quality and quantity,
23rd January 2008 From India, Hyderabad
:P :P :P there is very easy answer to ur Q? that is appoint DIETITIAN
what u r manegement had told u to do is the most imp. job in the world for me because i am dietitian . but u r reaction is obivious as HRmanager. according to me all big companies do appoint dietition for this work if u r intrasted to have dietitian i can help u?
15th February 2008
Dear Tushar,
I am an HR Manager with the hospitality industry. I read about your concern and its nothing of a big deal. As an HR Manager its your responsibility to taste the food before its being laid in the cafeteria. Even I do the same. Its not anything shameful about, but yes its all about that you are the authorized person to check the quality and taste of the food and accordingly its to be maintained.
In my organization, I have constituted a food committee, which include one employee of every department. these members get changed every month. On every 26th day of every month we keep a meeting where everyone put forth their views and recommendations. We also decide the menu for every month. If any complaints are there then the same is given to the Executive Chef so that the same is not repeated again. You can also do the same which will solve your problem.
28th December 2013 From India, Ahmedabad
Hi All,
This is Amit Pednekar from National Collateral Management Services Ltd, Mumbai which is NABL Accredited and FSSAI approved Food and Water testing laboratory. I would like to inform you that Food Safety Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is govt. regulatory body laid down several guidelines related to food safety and quality for Hotels , Restaurants, Canteens. I am attaching Order guidelines for school canteens related to Food and Water testing recently released by FSSAI. Hopefully this will help you to ensure food safety and quality at your workplace. For any queries feel free to contact me at
27th March 2019 From India, Kalyan

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File Type: pdf Order_Draft_Guidelines_School_Children.pdf (1.66 MB, 14 views)

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