Andhra Pradesh

‘Meat unfit for consumption being sold at restaurants’

Officials inspecting the seized dishes in a restaurant during a raid in Vijayawada recently.   | Photo Credit: handout

Eating out might cause severe health hazards, if the raids being conducted by the Food Safety Department and Vijayawada Municipal Corporation are anything to go by,

Raids conducted by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), Public Health Department officials of Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) and Vigilance and Enforcement (V&E) recently on a restaurant, located at a mall on M.G. Road, and on some mutton shops, revealed how some traders and establishment owners are using rotten meat, beef and meat of dead animals, which are unfit for consumption.

Teams of FSSAI and V&E raided the restaurant, a franchisee unit of a major chain with branches across the country, and seized around 400 kg of stale mutton, frozen fish and prawns, half-boiled mutton stored in water and steam rice kept in freezers.

A few days ago, officials also raided the parcel services of Indian Railways and seized body parts of of lambs being imported from neighbouring States at lesser price.

“Some mutton shop owners have entered into a nexus with wholesale mutton traders of other States and are procuring stale body parts of lambs. They are selling the same at Sunday markets, which draw a large number of customers,” a health officer said.

“As per the records, the restaurant management purchased mutton at ₹450 per kg. How can the mutton shop owner sell fresh meat at such a low price, when the price of mutton is at ₹700 and above in the market,” asked an officer who participated in the raid.

Health and Food Safety personnel said there is no need to store raw and boiled mutton, heads and legs of lambs in such large quantities in restaurants and hotels. But the managements of some establishments are using decomposed meat which is highly dangerous for consumption.

“In some hotels and restaurants, we found non-vegetarian dishes, steam rice, biryani, mutton, chicken, fish, prawns, crabs, ice creams, bakery products, sweets, chocolates and other items stored in freezers for months beyond the expiry date. A few establishment owners are selling packaged products without details such as packaging and expiry dates,” FSSAI Food Controller N. Purnachandar Rao said.

“We served notices on the mutton shop in which we seized rotten meat stocks. The shop has been seized,” said VMC Veterinary Assistant Surgeon A. Ravichand.

Meanwhile, people are appealing to the government to deploy more teams and conduct surprise visits on hotels, fast food centres, restaurants, biryani points and other establishments, which are using stale food items.

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Printable version | Jan 15, 2021 8:28:09 PM |

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