While Pune has over the years grown into a food connoisseurs paradise, quality and hygiene is still a matter of huge concern.
Sub-standard quality and poor hygiene and adherence to safety guidelines is now taking its toll with the citizens who eat out regularly.
Post the FDA issuing ‘stop-business’ notices to several food establishments in the city, the state health department has now released a report that reveals that 21.68% of the food samples studied by them from across the city did not conform to their prescribed guidelines.
The FDA had earlier sent notices to restaurants for doing business without a FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India) licence and not adhering to the food safety norms of Food Safety and Standard Act, 2006 and Food Safety and Standard Rules, 2011.
According to a report, out of the 4,769 samples gathered 1,034 violated the quality parameters last year.
For the record, over 34,000 samples were analysed at multiple state-run laboratories in the state.
A city-based food blogger expressed regret that despite repeated complaints, various violating food outlets were still carrying on with their business in the city.
“Do you know of any outlets that have been shut down after serving their customers with cockroaches or worms in their food?
Open twitter and you will find many complaints regarding popular food outlets including International chains. Yet, we ignore all this till the point it happens to us!
The authorities should be strict with their action and even shut down any outlet after repeated complaints. Just an apology and replacement of the meal won’t help. Either you take the health of the consumers seriously and make companies use food safety management systems or just don’t let them operate anymore,” she quips, “It isn’t fair that they are allowed to continue their day-to-day operations when people’s health is at stake.” It’s important for restaurants to start taking hygiene seriously and make changes like getting professional commercial cleaners to decontaminate their kitchens. The health of the public is a serious matter.
To reduce common adulteration of food, the food regulatory authority FSSAI came up with mobile units for food testing, Food Safety on Wheels (FSW) under the Central Sector Scheme. 2 FSW has been sanctioned to the State of Maharashtra in February 2019.
“It is only after this sampling and testing exercise and the reports that we open our eyes and start taking cognisance of the quality of food we consume,” shares Rajesh Jha, a private sector employee.
“I know how tempting the street side pani puri, noodles and vada pav looks, but can you ignore the swarm of flies over the pani puri stuffing and the oil that is being used reused for several days?
Food outlets may ignore your health but, can we? Its is better to make sound choices when it comes to spending on outside food rather than pending on medication afterwards,” Jha adds.
“When there are many choices, the quality invariably takes a beating and everyone knows that. But you can trust no one today,” says Ashima Rana, an entrepreneur.
“I recently found a cockroach at the bottom of my bowl full of soup. This restaurant is my regular in Kondhwa and it was very shocking..
Its been 2 months now and I don’t have the courage to even step into the restaurant any more. This is the state of affairs in the city.
It is high time the authorities keep a regular check and monitor the compliants made by the public on social media platforms and shut these errant outlets that risk our lives” Aashima adds.
#All views expressed are those of individual respondents and Pune365 doesn’t necessarily subscribe to them.
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