An IKEA customer in Hyderabad was in for a rude shock on Saturday after finding a caterpillar in the vegetable biriyani served at the Swedish giant’s restaurant inside its flagship India project. The customer alerted the Food Safety Officer with the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC), who arrived with a team of officials to inspect the IKEA restaurant at Hi-Tech City.
The team, after finding the complaint to be true, collected the food samples for bacteriological analysis tests at a lab.
The GHMC officials also levied a penalty of Rs 11,500 through their GHMC Hotel App. The restaurant manager has also been issued a notice and a notice has also been sent to Haldirams, the vegetable biriyani vendor at Nagpur, from where the restaurant procures its food.
IKEA's own Food Safety Team based out of Bengaluru will also be visiting the Haldiram's supplier at Nagpur. The leftover consignment of the biriyani in question was quarantined by IKEA.
In a statement, an IKEA India spokesperson said, “We regret the incident and apologise to our customer for the unfortunate experience. We would like to assure him and everyone else that we are investigating the matter currently to assess what happened and take immediate corrective action.”
“At IKEA, we have the strictest guidelines when it comes to food safety and quality as customer health and safety are something we care about deeply,” the spokesperson added.
The IKEA restaurant can seat over a 1,000 people and has been billed as their largest in the world. The café offers coffee, bakes, frozen yoghurts and many more. The restaurant also offers 50% Swedish specialties like salmon, and chicken and vegetarian meatballs, and 50% local delicacies like samosas, dal makhni and biriyani.
This is also not the first time that an upscale eatery in the city has been fined for serving sub-standard food.
In August this year, a customer in Hyderbad's PVR Forum Sujana Mall found a cockroach in his packed food. Officials levied a penalty of Rs 3,000 in that case.