Whatâ€™s a stroll on the Marina beach without a plate of assorted vegetable bajjis and some spicy fried fish, and an ice cream in the end?
A healthy stroll.
And, as it turns out, also one which reduces the risk of food poisoning.
Times of India reports that food safety and revenue officials have seized nearly 140kg of stale food from different stalls at the Marina beach on Friday. According to the report, the health department has been receiving several complaints over the past few months, following which a raid was conducted on Friday hitting about 300 stalls across the 3km stretch, from Anna Aquare to Light House.
The ten teams which raided the stalls seized stale food including rotten fish, expired ice-cream and soft drinks, unauthorized food colouring agents, decayed fruit, reused oil â€“ but no vendors were penalised. An officer told TOI that since many of them did not even know about food safety rules, they were let off with a warning.
Officials seized 100kg of decayed fruits, 24kg of rotten fish, 7kg of expired ice-cream and biscuits, 40 litres of expired soft drinks, 31 litres of reused oil and 4kg of food colours â€“ the TOI report said.
In 2014, too, a huge drive was conducted at the Marina beach by food safety officials to check the quality of the food being sold to beachgoers. â€śThe dark oil repeatedly used for frying food items is highly carcinogenic. Water collected from the shallow pits of the Marina which is sold, is a health hazard. Visitors to the beach should avoid such products,â€ť a food safety official had told The Hindu then.
However, there have also been allegations of food safety officials going easy on the vendors as no punishment is given to the vendors after the crackdown. TOI reported in 2014 that following the raids that year, â€śCorporation officials say they cannot shut shops selling spurious food because the matter is sub judice. However, they would not say what stopped the corporation's health department from sealing the shops of violators.â€ť Corruption has also been reported to be a reason why unsafe food vendors continue to be in business.