The Rangoli chain of restaurants inside Technopark in Thiruvananthapuram serves a variety of food. From chaat items to tea time snacks such as pazham pori and chilly bajji, the outlet has it all. Except employees are unhappy with the frequent discovery of unwelcome additions to their meals.
Once a worm was discovered in the chicken tikka. On other occasions, coins, cockroaches, bolts and rubber bands have been found in bajjis and other items, allege employees. In the latest incident, a used cotton gauze inside a plate of chicken biriyani has sparked outrage among customers.
“This is the third complaint against Rangoli within this year. In February, I found a huge worm inside the chicken tikka gravy that I ordered. When I asked the manager of the outlet, he brushed it aside by saying that it could have fallen from somewhere. What’s worse is that they continued to serve the item to others. This is when I raised a complaint and they shut down the restaurant for a week,” alleges Arjit, who works in Technopark.
The outlet which has allegedly been serving unhygienic food operates in the first floor of Nila building in the campus. However, there are several other outlets of the restaurant operating inside the campus.
“The outlet has got away with such unhygienic practices on several occasions. They don’t have frequent food safety checks and the Technopark authorities have never taken permanent action against them,” alleges Ankita, another employee.
She adds that although there are other food joints within the campus, those in the building prefer to eat from the nearest restaurants.
“Swiggy and Uber eats executives are not allowed inside the campus. We have to walk all the way to the side gate to collect our order. Technopark management claims this is for security reasons. However, I find this absurd as auto and Uber cab drivers enter the campus on a daily basis,” she says.
Apart from this issue, dearth of options also force people to go back to the same restaurants despite lack of hygiene.
Following the latest incident, a group of employees have made a list of demands from the management.
“We want better standards in these outlets. Gloves and head caps should be made mandatory. Open kitchens are a must so that people can see what they are being served. Regular monitoring of food and restaurant hygiene is also required,” says Rajeev Krishnan, Secretary of Prathidhwani, welfare organisation for IT employees.
When TNM contacted Technopark, CEO Hrishikiesh Nair said that stern action would be taken against the restaurant.
“I have spoken to the management about this issue and we can expect an immediate response. The Food Safety Authority has already visited the campus and checked the hygiene and quality of the food. Awaiting their report and then taking an action is step one. Further, our Food grievance committee will be convening very soon. Feedback will be taken from the community and factored in. Based on this, an appropriate action against said food joint will be taken” Hrishikesh stated.