Saturday, October 24, 2009


Rail food attracts wide criticism from almost all segments of the traveling population as they are unappealing, unsafe, unimaginative, monotonous and most of the time insipid. Being the captive customers of the railway catering service, passengers do not have much of a choice but to swallow what is offered in the name of food. Catering services are managed partly by railways by itself and partly by the food contractors duly appointed by the organization based on some criteria. The new rail minister reversed the policy of private catering and in-house food vending has been propped up to meet the needs of customers traveling in hundreds of trains every day.

Over the years the management of food services by unqualified managers attracted strong criticism and to overcome the situation railways went in for recruitment of qualified people recently. "Faced with increased complaints about the quality of food served in trains, a railway PSU has roped in over 80 quality control professionals to conduct inspection in pantry cars and base kitchens".

Probably if what is reported is true, a good beginning has been made but the credentials of the so called professionals are some what questionable when one considers the prevalent shortage of trained food technologists in the country. The only course currently running in the country to train quality control personnel can churn out only about 20 personnel an year, most of them being female trainees. It is unlikely that any one of them would have been appointed. If it is so what one can expect from such an announcement by the railways? Travel and find out!

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