Food inspections in Hyderabad’s Jubilee Hills area expose toxic truths of street-vended food

Published - March 22, 2023 12:13 am IST - HYDERABAD

Inspections near Lotus Pond in Jubilee Hills on Tuesday brought several violations, some of them serious, to the fore.

Inspections near Lotus Pond in Jubilee Hills on Tuesday brought several violations, some of them serious, to the fore. | Photo Credit: Representational photo

That seemingly innocuous breakfast outside, or that one cup of ‘kadak chai’ on the go every morning could spell serious trouble for your gut, and for a long time to come.

A smattering of inspections conducted near Lotus Pond in Jubilee Hills area by Food Safety officials on Tuesday revealed several violations of norms, some of them serious and life threatening to boot.

The inspections were conducted at the behest of Hyderabad Mayor Gadwal Vijayalakshmi who had asked officials to step up quality checks on street food across the city.

Officials were astonished to find that almost all roadside vendors on the stretch inspected used adulterated tea powder.

“We tested the tea leaves using filter paper, and found that the powder was mixed with artificial colour. The tea thus made assumes an orangish hue, which, the vendors say, is liked by all customers,” informed a food safety officer who conducted the inspections.

The vendors were shown the results, educated about the consequences, and asked to use quality tea powder.

Most of the food outlets were found using re-heated oil which is a known carcinogenic. “The vendors bring four to six litres of oil in the morning and heat it all at once. They continue using the same oil till evening, deep-frying multiple breakfast/snack items. We have asked them to change the oil frequently,” the officer informed.

The vendors were asked not to use newspapers to absorb oil off the hot food items, to avoid poisoning by newsprint. They were also sensitised about personal hygiene and maintaining proper sanitation of the surroundings.

The inspections were carried out from a mobile food testing laboratory ‘Food Safety on Wheels’, which can test about 80 parameters of quality.

Officials informed that Summary Trial Cases are being filed against serious violations, which will result in mild penalties. The vendors will be given time to fall in line, after which another round of inspections will be conducted.

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