Hygiene takes a backseat at mushrooming roadside eateries
PUDUCHERRY: In the absence of a proper regulatory mechanism, roadside eateries have started to spring up at various parts of Puducherry in the last few years. The small eateries, including shops and mobile outlets, do not fully adhere to hygienic practices.
Offering a variety of dishes, the roadside eateries have received good patronage. However, the lack of a proper regulatory mechanism has delayed stringent checks for hygiene at such outlets, Health Department officials said.
“Roadside eateries are mushrooming in several areas but we do not have the exact number of these outlets. Their hygienic practices are not up to the expected level,” a senior official said.
In Puducherry, the Food and Drug Administration Department is the inspecting authority and the municipality is the licensing authority. “The regulation of the roadside eateries lies not with a single department but the local body, the Public Works Department (PWD) and the Health Department. The PWD has to check for proper drainage connection for each outlet before issuing clearance,” he said.
The Union government had proposed to bring an Act following a Supreme Court verdict to regulate the roadside eateries.
In its preliminary stage, the Act would seek to entrust the task of regulating of the eateries to one department, according to officials.Doctors do have a word of caution to the patrons of the roadside eateries in the Union Territory. “Lack of hygiene can cause diarrhoea and dysentery. Such problems may occur if the food is not properly prepared or hygienically stored,” a doctor said.