VIJAYAWADA: To check sale of stale and adulterated of food and its impact on health of people, food safety and municipal corporation authorities carried out raids against street food vendors in several parts of the state on Friday from morning till late in the night.
The raids are in the aftermath of “mystery illness” affecting nearly 600 persons and claiming one life at Eluru recently. Deputy Chief Minister in-charge of health Alla Kali Krishna Srinivas directed food safety and municipal authorities to conduct surprise checks on street food vendors.
Accordingly, food safety officials from West Godavari, Krishna and Guntur districts, apart from those of Eluru Municipal Corporation, carried out raids, focusing on mobile street food vendors, including those who sell tiffins, fast food, curries and the locally popular chicken pakora.
Officials destroyed tonnes of stale and adulterated food. 50 vehicles have been seized and a fine of Rs. 500 slapped against each vendor. Subsequently, all vehicles were released with a warning to vendors not to resume sale of state or adulterated food.
Food safety authorities also inspected three hotels and collected samples of chicken biryani, chicken fry and vegetable curry and sent them for analysis to the State Food Lab in Hyderabad.
Eluru food safety officer M. Srinivasa Rao said, “Based on directions from the deputy CM, we carried out raids against street food vendors, apart from hotels. We have also collected samples of food following suspicions that they are using banned food colours and mono sodium glutamate. We will continue to inspect all food-selling establishments to safeguard the health of people,” he underlined.
Major findings of officials during the raids are that streets vendors sell food by encroaching upon drains and other public places. They prepare and sell food items in unhygienic conditions. The waste being generated by them is carelessly dumped either in drains or in public places.
Eluru municipal health officer (in-charge) K. A. Kondala Rao said, “Even as several people were affected by the mystery illness and national institutions are trying to find out the source of this illness, people are continuing to visit street food vendors with no concern for their health. We have instructed vendors to stop sale of food for the time being.”...