Food safety team begins month-long inspection drive

Stale meat, banned synthetic food colouring seized from restaurants

A team of food safety officials carried out surprise inspections at restaurants serving non-vegetarian food and seized nearly 65 kg of stale chicken, including meat mixed with colouring agents, and synthetic colours on Monday. Officials ordered the closure of a kitchen at one of the restaurants due to unhygienic conditions.

The death of a girl after consuming food from a restaurants in Arni in Tiruvannamalai has prompted officials to take up a month-long inspection of restaurants in the city. The team inspected restaurants in Royapettah, Dr. Besant Road and Dr. Radhakrishnan Salai.

P. Satheesh Kumar, Desginated Officer, Food Safety Department, said they conducted surprise inspections at three restaurants. On seizing the stale chicken that was stored in freezers and colouring agents, the officials imposed a fine of ₹5,000 each.

“We have ordered closure of a kitchen of one of the restaurants as there were cockroaches. We have told them to carry out disinfection and then seek permission to open. We will continue such inspections for a month in the city region. We have already warned restaurants of immediate action if any stale meat is found on their premises,” he said.

Officials said they checked raw chicken and cooked meat at the restaurants. “We found cooked meat stored in a refrigerator for two to three days and seized it. We also seized meat to which synthetic colours were added. We seized the synthetic colours that are prohibited as per the Food Safety and Standards Act. We served notices to these restaurants and imposed compounding penalty for operating in unhygienic conditions,” an officer said.

The notices were issued under the Section 55 of the Act.

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