The simultaneous raids on three outlets of the popular kebab and baida roti eatery Bademiya on Wednesday, and the earlier action against Papa Pancho restaurant in Bandra West, have shaken up the hotel industry in Mumbai.
So far, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has taken action against as many as 68 eateries and more are in the pipeline. At several eateries, food is prepared in most unhygienic conditions and the FDA is turning its full heat on them.
Closure of 3 Bademiya Outlets
FDA officials have shut down three outlets of Bademiya – Tulloch Road, behind Hotel Taj in Colaba, in Botawala Building, Horniman Circle and near Metro Cinema – for not having the FDA licence and also because of lack of hygiene as rats, maggots and cockroaches were found in the outlets. Ten samples of cooked and raw food have been sent to a government laboratory for analysis.
Among the samples collected include paneer, marinated chicken with masala, chilli powder (loose), chilli powder (without label), turmeric powder (without label), jeera (without label), kachi ghani mustard oil (Hathi brand), curd, chicken biryani (cooked), and chicken kabab (cooked). The FDA said it will not be able to reopen the establishments till they procure a licence under the Food Safety & Standards Act.
Popular Yet Unregulated
The eatery’s branch behind the Taj has been very popular for the past few decades and is patronised by both locals and tourists. There is just one stall on the pavement; at night, benches are spread across the road and footpath where food is served in total violation of rules. The Colaba police also used to conveniently look the other way despite the food joint being kept open till the wee hours.
Shailesh Adhao, FDA Joint Commissioner (Food), said during the inspection they learnt that all three outlets didn’t have licences and also found other non-compliances. He said, “It has been directed that they cease their food business operations until they obtain a valid food safety and standards license and rectify the identified discrepancies,” he said.
Bademiya Owner Downplays Raid & Closure
Meanwhile, owner Iftikhar Shaikh claimed they have all the compliances. “It was the regular six-month inspection. We recently opened a new restaurant and FDA inspected it and asked for licenses, which we have except for FDA licence for which we have applied,” he said. He added that the inspection and action is part of FDA’s special drive after a rat was found in a dish of a Bandra restaurant.
An FDA official said, “We screen eateries on approximately 80-90 critical parameters. Several hotels were found to be lacking in cleanliness, where either the condition of the kitchen was unhygienic or the trash bins were not covered. Moreover, FDA regulations mandate that hotel staff wear gloves and caps while on duty.”