Provision for Hygienic and Quality Catering Services in Indian Railways

In order to upgrade quality of food preparation, IRCTC shall be setting up new kitchens and upgrading existing ones.

Ministry of Railways has issued a new Catering Policy 2017 on 27/02/2017.

Under this policy, Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Ltd. (IRCTC), a Public Sector Unit under Ministry of Railways, has been mandated to provide catering services on trains, setting
up/modernisations/refurbishment of base kitchens, setting up of food plazas, food courts and fast food units.

With the objective to provide quality food to rail passengers, the new Catering Policy mandates IRCTC to carry out the unbundling of catering services on trains by creating a distinction primarily between food preparation and food distribution.

In order to upgrade quality of food preparation, IRCTC shall be setting up new kitchens and upgrading existing ones.

Accordingly, the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has taken various measures to ensure hygienic, quality and fair pricing of food served to Railway passengers as under:-

Upgradation of Base Kitchens/Kitchen Units.

Deployment of Food Safety Supervisors.

Installation of CCTV in Base Kitchens and their centralized monitoring.

Sharing of live streaming of the Base Kitchens through website of IRCTC made operational.

Provision of E-Catering services at railway stations.

Introduction of Optional Catering and Ready to Eat (RTE) Meals on selected trains.

Upgradation and revision of a la carte Menu on selected trains.

Display of Menu/Tariff list.

Introduction of Eco-friendly Sugar Bagasse (Biodegradable) packaging material.

Provision of Service trolleys in Rajdhani and Duronto trains.

Provision of Hand sanitizers in Rajdhani/Shatabdi/Duronto trains.

Introduction of Automatic vending machines on Humsafar trains.

Provision of tablets to on board catering supervisors for passenger feedback and inspection applications.

Qualification and experience of on board Catering Service Staff has been fixed.

Examination of quality of food, hygiene and cleanliness in pantry cars by third party audit.

Introduction of Hand held PoS machine along with QR code on pilot basis on selected trains.

Launching of awareness campaigns as under by IRCTC:

MRP on all products- ” No MRP, the license get cancelled”

“No Bill- The food is for FREE”.

Strict compliance of instructions regarding ‘no tips’ including signage of

“NO TIPS PLEASE” on sleeves and back of new uniforms of waiters/catering staff.

Provision of variety of cuisines through Food Plazas and Food Units over Indian Railways.

Customer satisfaction survey by Third Party Agencies.

Monitoring and supervision of catering service through Operation of centralized Catering Service Monitoring Cell
(CSMC) toll free number 1800-111-321, Operation of All India Helpline No. 138, Twitter handle, CPGRAMS, E-Mail and

SMS based complaints redressal.

In its endeavour to provide quality and hygienic food to the passengers, Railways have developed and operationalized an institutionalized mechanism for monitoring of quality and hygiene of catering services through regular inspections at various levels to address catering complaints.

Providing quality catering service under both mobile and static catering units at the prescribed tariff is the aim of the Railways.

Checking of quality, quantity and overcharging of food is an integral part of its inspection, which is being done regularly by Railway officials.

All complaints are dealt strictly and action including monetary penalty, debarring and termination of contract is taken as per the gravity of the complaint and decisions are taken on case to case basis.

This information was given in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha.

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