The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) has undertaken a massive drive, which has exposed the lack of hygiene and poor food standards of restaurants and eateries across the city.
Out of the 69 hotels that the municipal body has raided this week, a shocking 54 of them were reportedly using stale meat and had dirty kitchens.
This came after GHMC instructed the hotels under their limits to maintain hygienic premises and use only stamped goat meat from notified slaughterhouses.
The Times of India reported that in some of the hotels, the municipal officers saw sewer water seeping into the meat and vegetables.
The New Indian Express reported that some of the restaurants that were served notices included the New Green Bawarchi in Vanasthalipuram; Balaji Mithai Bhandar, Mansoorabad; Green Bawarchi, LB Nagar; Green Bawarchi Restaurant, Lothukunta; Pride of Hyderabad Hotel, Kukatpally Circle; Golden Restaurant & Bar and Ahar Restaurant among others.
Earlier this week, a team consisting of Deputy Commissioners, health and sanitation officials conducted surprise checks on 27 hotels, out of which 15 failed to meet food safety standards.
“Instructions to hotels and restaurants were issued in March directing them to purchase meat only from GHMC slaughterhouses. Despite quality meat available from slaughterhouses, most hotels and shopkeepers buy meat from private butchers, violating rules. Food inspectors under section 674 of HMC Act are authorised to seize these,” a GHMC food inspector had earlier told Deccan Chronicle.
This comes just a few months after it was reported that the Secunderabad area was no better.
In January, the Secunderabad Cantonment Board (SCB) sealed five outlets in a single day, with one of them even allegedly serving rotten fruit juice and cheese with fungus.
Often, officials levy a heavy penalty on the eateries, or in some cases, shut them down until they are willing to refurnish the premises.
Many traders and shop owners however, have cried foul, alleging that the officials were making it hard for them to do business.
However, officials state that they are working for public safety, and have no choice but to levy heavy fines and shut down shops that don't follow the rules.