After a gap of nearly five months, vegetarian biryani returned to the menu of Swedish home furnishing retailer IKEA in Hyderabad on Thursday. In September last year, IKEA's had stopped selling vegetarian biryani at its store after a customer had found a caterpillar in the dish.
"Today is the first day we have started reselling vegetarian biryani," said John Achillea, Hyderabad Store Manager, IKEA India. He told reporters that they were making this dish in house and it is available for Rs 99 like in the past.
At the time, the customer alerted the Food Safety Officer with the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC), who arrived with a team of officials to inspect the premises. Following this, the GHMC officials levied a penalty of Rs 11,500 and issued notices to the restaurant manager and Haldirams, the vegetable biriyani vendor at Nagpur, from where the restaurant procured its food.
The leftover consignment of the biriyani in question was quarantined by IKEA. The furnishing giant subsequently removed the veg biryani from its menu and stated that it takes food safety and quality very seriously.
In a statement, an IKEA India spokesperson had said, “We regret the incident and apologise to our customer for the unfortunate experience. We would like to assure him and everyone else that we are investigating the matter currently to assess what happened and take immediate corrective action.”
IKEA opened its first India store in Hyderabad on August 9. It has a 1,000-seater restaurant. The restaurant has been billed as their largest in the world. The café offers coffee, bakes, frozen yoghurts and many more. The restaurant also offers 50% Swedish specialties like salmon, and chicken and vegetarian meatballs, and 50% local delicacies like samosas, dal makhni and biriyani.