Yet another case of sale of rotten, spoiled meat has been busted in Vijayawada. This is at least the third instance since October where large amounts of spoiled meat have been seized before they were sold or consumed. Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) authorities raided two meat shops in Gollapalem Gattu of I Town area on Sunday, and seized nearly 400 kilos of meat apart from several sheep carcasses.
Based on a tip-off, raids were conducted on the two shops by VMC Veterinary Assistant Surgeon (VAS) A Ravi Chand, and Assistant Medical Officer of Health (AMOH) Sridevi. The officials found that the rotten meat had been refrigerated, and some of the meat was also emanating a foul smell. “The sheep were being brought in from Guntur, Prakasam and Nalgonda districts where they are available for low prices and are being sold to restaurants in the city,” VMC officials said. Officials sprayed bleach on the meat to render it unusable.
Veterinary Assistant Surgeon Ravi Chand reportedly said that the VMC has stepped up its vigil after a recent incident where a prominent restaurant in the city was found to have stored stale meat in the refrigerator. Earlier on Tuesday, a joint raid was conducted on a barbeque themed restaurant by officials of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and Vigilance and Enforcement officials. The officials had found that several food items, like halwa, were being served to customers in spite of having passed their expiry date and fungus being formed on the food.
“Mutton is being stored in a deep fridge for up to ten days. It has gone bad. The rice is also stale and smelling bad, but it is being reheated and served,” a food safety official said. Around 150 kilos of mutton stored in a refrigerator was seized, as it was spoiled, and the restaurant management couldn’t account for the date of purchase. Food samples were seized for testing and the restaurant was served notices for poor hygiene and violation of COVID-19 guidelines.
Earlier in October, VMC officials seized 14 boxes of sheep and goat carcasses that were brought into the city on the Howrah-Yesvantpur Express. Officials had said that the meat was being brought into the city from West Bengal, Odisha and other states through illegal means, to be sold in the city at lowered prices.