BBMP’s Joint Commissioner (Health) Salma Fahim conceded that with the shortage of food inspectors, there was only so much the BBMP could do. She told The Hindu that the BBMP had 108 health inspectors, five food safety inspectors and two designated officers.

The recent raids by the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike’s (BBMP) Standing Committee for Public Health turned out quite a few horror stories about some of the city’s popular chains of eateries.

The raids threw up stale and rotten meat being served to consumers, vermin in kitchens and utter lack of hygiene.

Stretched

With Bangalore claiming to be a foodie’s city and with a fair chunk of its young population eating out or ordering takeaways, the city is home to thousands of eateries — both licensed and unlicensed — which cater to all pockets.

However, the BBMP, with its limited resources, has not been able to ensure that all serve safe and hygienic food, considering there is a severe shortage in the number of food inspectors.

The BBMP has only five food inspectors, three of whom are under suspension while one retired recently.

As a stopgap arrangement, four food inspectors from the State government’s Department of Health and Family Welfare have been given additional charge of BBMP work.

Up to government

BBMP’s Joint Commissioner (Health) Salma Fahim conceded that with the shortage of food inspectors, there was only so much the BBMP could do. She told The Hindu that the BBMP had 108 health inspectors, five food safety inspectors and two designated officers.

“We need more food inspectors. A proposal has been sent to the government seeking permission to recruit 32 food safety inspectors and four designated officers,” she said.

With the additional staff, the BBMP would be able to implement the Food Safety and Standards Act 2009.

Otherwise, she said, it would be difficult for the BBMP to monitor theeateries, collect samplesand send them to the laboratories.

Sources said that of the 49 samples collected this year, six or seven tested positive for adulteration and the prosecution process was commencing.

Rudimentary facilities

The BBMP proposes to upgrade its food laboratory at Dasappa Hospital.

“We have floated tenders to procure new equipment for Rs. 40 lakh. This is in the final stages,” the sources said.

However, manpower shortage may hit the laboratory as well.

Ms. Fahim said that the BBMP has one chief chemist, but will require more assistant chemists.

Citizens can approach the BBMP to lodge complaints about poor quality of food being served in the eateries across the city, Ms. Fahim said.

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