COONOOR: It’s not just people or customers who flock beef stalls here. Rats and dogs run riots at these beef stalls in the municipal market here in Coonoor, subjecting consumers to great health risks.
Residents want a foolproof mechanism to be in place to grant licenses to run meat stalls in the town.
All this came to light after video-clips of rats running over and nibbling meat stocks in these beef stalls, and stray dogs by the numbers wandering around lazily, quick to lap up wastes thrown around, went viral on social media.
Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) wing officials swung into action and inspected beef stalls on Tuesday evening, and temporarily closed down five shops for not measuring to prescribed hygiene standards. They also seized the beef stacked up in these shops and destroyed it.
However, Rajeshkumar James, secretary of the Citizens' Forum of Coonoor, charged that the lax attitude of the officials gave beef stall owners the advantage to practice unhealthy standards in selling beef.
“Leave alone beef stalls, regular inspection by competent authorities should be ordered by the district administration to ensure that only quality and healthy meat products are sold in the market. Since the buildings that house meat and beef stalls in Coonoor market are very old, steps should be taken to demolish and reconstruct them with a foolproof mechanism in place to check rodents sneaking into the beef and meat stalls. Authorities concerned should explore possibilities of forming a task force consisting of members drawn from the public service organizations, and consumer forums to regularly monitor hygienic conditions in the stalls. Good coordination among the officials and consumer organisations would help curb this type of unhealthy trade practice,” he added....