A customer in Hyderabadâ€™s PVR Forum Sujana Mall found a cockroach in the box in which his food was packed, making this the third such incident to be reported in the city in the recent past.
A video of this was shared on social media, and the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation authorities were alerted about it. Subsequently, food samples were collected by the Food Safety Department from the mall and a penalty of a meagre Rs 3,000 was imposed by Health Wing officials.
In May this year, Subway in Hyderabad Central was forced to close down after customers found a cockroach in their beverage. A video of the cockroach inside the cup and the customer confronting the staff went viral on social media. The customer later approached the GHMC to take action.
The prime reason why so many incidents are being reported out of Hyderabad is the lack of food safety inspectors, who monitor the quality standards of the eateries. Presently, there are just three high-level officers who not only have to do their own day to day work but also act on such complaints.
According to the officers, every day they receive at least 100 such complaints from all the five zones of the city â€“ East, West, South, North and Central. But not all the complaints are always genuine, they say.
In GHMC, there are 30 circles in all the five zones.
The officers admitted that due to inadequate staff numbers, they primarily focus on Central, East and South zones when they receive any complaint.
An officer said, â€śWe still donâ€™t have any food safety inspector. Weâ€™ve been told that some 26 candidates would be recruited for the purpose, but nothing has been done until now.â€ť
There were 7 food safety inspectors until 2010. However, after a few employees retired and an employee was charged for graft, the department was left with only three officers. And none of the other positions have been filled despite requests.