The district health department is set to initiate legal action against popular food business operators McDonald’s, KFC and Easyday store among others after several of their food samples were tested “unsafe”.
As per information, a team of officials had collected samples of oil from two of McDonald’s food joints at BMC Chowk and Lajpat Nagar near Guru Nanak Mission Chowk on January 20. Both were tested unsafe.
The team had also collected samples of cooked chicken and marinated chicken from KFC at Model Town market on August 4 last year. Both the samples were tested unsafe.
Officials said the samples were sent to the state food laboratory in Chandigarh and reports had arrived within a month. It takes few months to start legal proceedings against violators as several formalities such as getting approval are involved in the process, they said.
Three of the samples of marinated chicken, fish meat and raw chicken collected from Easyday store at Manbro Chowk in Model Town in November 2015 have been found unsafe for consumption also.
Water samples collected from Om Dhara Sweet Water at New Hardayal Nagar were also reported unsafe.
Om Dhara Sweet Water was the same firm to which the civil surgeon’s office had issued a registration certificate (22114361006141) on November 9, 2014, and the certificate had manual alterations on it despite the fact that the entire process is carried online.
Details further reveal that samples of jaggery (gur) from a manufacturing unit at Khiala village near Sant Baba Bhag Singh University, fruit beer from the university canteen, red chili powder from Aggarwal Karyana Store in Shahkot, chum-chum (sweet) from Baba Sweet Shop in Garha and others were also reported unfit for consumption.
The food and safety wing team comprising district health officer (DHO) Dr Jasbir Singh, food safety officers Rashu Mahajan, Divya Bhagat and Sukhrao Singh were involved in the collection of samples.
Speaking to Hindustan Times, Dr Jasbir Singh said the cases against KFC, Om Dhara Sweet Water have been filed in the court and files regarding McDonald’s have been sent to the high-ups for approval to initiate court proceedings against them.
Singh said in case the samples are found sub-standard, cases are being filed in the court of the additional deputy commissioner while those of unsafe cases are being listed in the court of the chief judicial magistrate.
The DHO said the drive would continue without any political pressure and interference.
State Food safety commissioner Hussan Lal said, “We give a time of 30 days to violators for retest of food samples from the referral lab in Ghaziabad and if the food business operators do not opt for the same, cases are initiated against them in court.”
Health minister Surjit Kumar Jyani was not available for comments.
“As a responsible brand, KFC is committed to providing the highest level of food safety to customers. We are not aware of this matter, as we are no longer associated with the franchisee that operated the store at the time of sample collection. Our new franchisee, SFIPL, is gathering information on the issue,” a representative from the KFC communications department said.