Inspection of eateries has not been undertaken in the last three months

Officials of the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) do not seem to take a serious view of the possible adulteration in various food items sold in the city.

The corporation officials have not collected any sample during the last three months, and, apparently, not inspected hotels and restaurants in the city.

The health wing of the corporation in July 2009 took everybody by surprise when it conducted a series of raids on hotels, restaurants, tea stalls and a few other eateries in the city.

Thereafter, there is seemingly no such move to bring these establishments under scanner.

As a matter of fact, Food Inspectors (FIs) are supposed to collect at least two samples every month from each sanitary division in the city.

In other words, the FIs should collect at least 64 samples a month and not less than 800 samples a year. But now, each FI is collecting not more than four samples a year, official sources say.

The VMC officials, during their massive inspection in 2009, found most of the establishments, barring one or two, violating the laid down norms.

Unsanitary conditions were found to be prevailing in most of these establishments, while some were found to be using musty mutton and chicken.

The corporation's effort to keep a tab on food adulteration has not been up to expected lines if the available data is any indication. The data available with the VMC shows that the 22 FIs collected only 78 samples of food during 2006-07, while in 2007-08 the number rose to 94.

The FIs, however, collected a mere 14 samples from 32 sanitary divisions (now there are 44 divisions after reorganisation), covering the entire city, three months ago.

When contacted on Thursday, Municipal Commissioner G. Ravi Babu admitted that the FIs had not collected samples in the recent past.

To closely monitor the food joints, restaurants, hotels and the like, the health wing was being organised.

“Earlier, even the sanitary inspectors used to collect the samples, but now the job is assigned only to Food Inspectors. About six FIs cover all the three circles in the city. They are responsible for lifting samples, sending them for lab tests and so on. All the FIs are qualified and we would emphasise on health and keep a tab on food adulteration,” he said.

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