Mumbai: Following the incident at Bandra's Papa Pancho da Dhaba where a customer discovered a rat in a chicken dish, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has initiated a special drive across Mumbai to check on compliance by other eateries. “All safety officers have been given strict instructions to inspect all eateries shops in their areas and submit reports of compliances laid under the Food Safety and Standard Act, 2006,” said an official, adding that action will be taken if the establishments are not in sync with the rules.
Papa Pancho ka Dhaba temporarily closed
Meanwhile, the FDA has temporarily closed Papa Pancho da Dhaba after the August 13 incident. FDA Joint Commissioner (Food) Shailesh Adhao said they had initiated checks at the Bandra restaurant immediately after the customer's complaint. During the inspection, it was found that the establishment failed to follow compliance rules which includes absent water analysis.
Moreover, it did not have food safety and staff medical reports. “We had to send closure notice to the restaurant as they failed on many compliance counts. We have ordered them to rectify all the issues and submit the report. But till further notice all operations of the hotel have been suspended,” he said.
Health activists slams BMC and FDA
However, health activists slammed the BMC and the FDA for allowing eateries to run despite multiple non-compliances. There are many restaurants or clubs across Mumbai that lack compliance, but still they are allowed to operate as the food safety or BMC officers do not do their duties properly. “It is not the first time such incidents have taken place. Public health is always neglected by the BMC, FDA and Food Safety and Standards Authority of India despite knowing that (some) restaurants or eateries do not follow food safety rules. Still, no strict action was taken against them. Our authorities are only making money by sitting in their offices. They take action (when such incidents occur) just to show the public and then everything is back to normal,” said an activist.
In December 2022, the civic body had issued notices to 75 food establishments in Ghatkopar’s N ward. Some of the establishments were even prosecuted for not updating their fire compliance certificates. “The notices, served under section 394 of the Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act, are not related to just fire safety violations but include other health department violations such as conducting a food business without procuring a license, operating from an illegal structure or omitting safety and medical check-ups, including hygiene of the staff as per health guidelines,” said a civic official.
-There should not be flies/insects or rodent nuisance on the premises
-Eating house shall consist of two rooms; one for eating, another for cooking
-Both areas shall not be less than 150 sq ft each while the height shall be 9 feet
-Sink or washing place shall be regularly cleaned and washed with disinfectant
-Rooms shall be well-lit and properly ventilated
-Drinking water shall be stored in a suitable container which has a lock and key system
-Establishment shall ensure that drinking water is not contaminated
-There shall also be a provision of water purifying machine