All food businesses, big or small, whether operating from a business premises, at home or from a mobile unit or food stall, must be aware of the legislations and requirements regarding food hygiene and food safety. Ultimately, you are primarily responsible for ensuring the safety of the food you produce.
The application forms can be submitted either to the BAFRA district offices or to the BAFRA Head Office.
The requirements are as laid out in the application form for the Licensing Process – Food Safety Licensing of Food Businesses (available for download).
Food business operations are licensed against the Criteria for Good Hygienic and Manufacturing Practices for Licensing of Food Business of BAFRA.
No, the Food Safety Licensing does not apply to temporary vendors and street vendors. However, they must operate in compliance to the following standard requirements: Minimum standards for establishment and operation of temporary food stalls & Minimum standard requirement for street food vendors.
Food Handlers’ Training must be attended by all individuals who supervise and/or handle food or food contact surfaces. Food Handler is defined as a person who manufactures, processes, prepares, serves, delivers, transports or packages food in food establishments.
BAFRA conducts the Food Handlers’ Training, free of charge, for all people who supervise and/or handle food or food contact surfaces. The training is uniformly provided throughout 20 Dzongkhags at BAFRA field offices by food safety officials of BAFRA. Upon successful completion of the training a food handler is issued with a Food Handlers’ License.
Food Handlers’ License is valid for five years.
The food handler has to undergo Refreshers’ Training after five years and successfully complete it for the renewal of the food handlers’ license.
The following are required to be submitted during the training day:
Exporters wishing to export the locally processed products of Bhutan may approach the nearest BAFRA field office for an export certificate. The export certificate would be issued against the batches of product intended for export after testing against the safety standards of Bhutan. The exporters are required to apply for the certificate at least 2 weeks prior to the export of the consignment.
“FOOD SAFETY IN THE TIMES OF COVID-19 PANDEMIC”
No. Food Handlers who are unwell or have flu like symptoms should be encouraged to self-declare their symptoms and not be allowed to enter the food Establishments. They should not return to work until deemed fit for work by a medical doctor.
No. Disposable gloves can give a false sense of safety/security and should not be used in the food work environment as a substitute for hand washing. Proper hand hygiene protocols as recommended by MoH and WHO should be followed as it offers greater protective barriers against infection even if wearing disposable gloves is essential while handling food.
Irrespective of the COVID 19 outbreak in the country, protective clothing such as head gear, face mask, aprons are widely adopted practices in food manufacturing establishments and abattoirs. However, with respect to use of masks outside the food manufacturing premises, relevant guidance issued by the Ministry of Health should be followed.
No. Hand sanitizers should be used as an additional measure for safety but should not replace hand washing.
What specific precautions do food handlers need to take during COVID-19 situations?
Physical distancing, good personal hygiene with frequent hand washing, and application of general food hygiene measures are the most important precautions food handlers should adopt.
The consumers must read the labels of the food (where applicable) and also check if the vendors are practicing the WHO five keys to safer food:
Yes, if the supplier follows good personnel and food hygiene practices and maintains physical distance. After accepting food/grocery deliveries, hands should be washed with soap and water.
It is not necessary to disinfect food packaging materials, but hands should be properly washed after handling food packages and before eating.
Regular household cleaning and disinfection products will effectively eliminate the virus from household surfaces. For cleaning and disinfecting households with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 illnesses – surface virucidal disinfectants, such as 0.05% sodium hypochlorite (NaClO) and products based on ethanol (at least 70%) should be used.
There is currently no evidence that people can catch COVID-19 from food or food packages.
Currently, there is no evidence to suggest that food of animal origin could be a possible route for transmission of COVID-19 to humans or that food of animal origin can become infected by humans.
COVID 19 cannot multiply in food, they need a live animal or human host to multiply and survive. However, some research suggests that the environmental stability of COVID-19 virus is up to three hours in the air post-aerosolization, up to four hours on copper, up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to two to three days on plastic and stainless steel.(These findings resulted from experiments in a controlled environment and should be interpreted with caution in the real-life environment).
The primary mandates of Bhutan Agriculture and Food Regulatory Authority (BAFRA) is to implement effective biosecurity measures to protect the agriculture farming system including animal health, and public health from risks of entry, establishment and spread of exotic and or notifiable pests and diseases. Thus, a major role is placed...more
Import of animals/plants and their products are allowed into the country with prior approval and obtaining Import Permit from BAFRA. At arrival at the point of entry, the consignment intended for import must be accompanied with a Phytosanitary Certificate for plant consignment and Zoo-sanitary Certificate for animal consignment...more
Bhutan Agriculture and Food Regulatory Authority implements measures to reduce the transmission of animal or plant, pest and diseases from one dzongkhag to another. Hence In-Country Movement Permits are issued
BAFRA facilitates the export of plant and plant products by issuing the certificates as per the requirements of the importing country following the procedure below...more
A person who intends to operate a food business requires a food safety license from BAFRA. BAFRA issues food safety licence to a food business that complies with BAFRA GHP/GMP Criteria for Licensing of food business. To obtain a food safety licence...more
To provide food testing services to the regulators, food businesses and the general public, National Food Testing Laboratory was established, and it has following testing facilities..more
BAFRA provides product certification services to support the farmers, industries and commerce in Bhutan for market access and trade facilitation. BAFRA implements product certification in conformity with ISO IEC 17065:2012 to provide a third party mark of certification. Our certification services will enable you...more
The Biosafety requirements are implemented as per the Biosafety Act of Bhutan 2015, and Biosafety Rules and Regulations 2018. The objectives of this Act is to protect, conserve and safeguard the biodiversity of Bhutan and also to promote the nation’s food and nutrition security and safeguard the animals and human health from unintended effect of Genetically Modified Organism (GMO). Read More...
Bhutan Agriculture and Food Regulatory Authority, Ministry of Agriculture and Forests, Post Box: 1071,
Thimphu, Bhutan, Tel: +975-02-327031/325790 Fax: +975-02-327032/335540