Sub-standard food found in another AIIMS mess
Resident doctors at AIIMS said that the ground-floor mess in hostel number eight was serving food infested with fungus and pests, with stale ingredients and nil hygiene standards.
Less than a week after food samples from doctors’ hostel messes at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) failed the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) safety test, sub-standard food was found being served in another mess of the institute, doctors said.
Resident doctors at AIIMS said that the ground-floor mess in hostel number eight was serving food infested with fungus and pests, with stale ingredients and nil hygiene standards—lapses that an inspection conducted by the institute’s internal food safety and hygiene committee found on September 8.
“This mess is also being run by the same contractor whose food samples recently failed the FSSAI test, because of which messes were shut down by the administration. Apart from old and pest-infested food, boxes of synthetic colours used to prepare food, which is extremely unhealthy, were also found,” said a resident doctor from AIIMS.
The September 8 inspection highlighted that the produce used was poor quality, the dough used to prepare rotis and pooris was used for days, dairy products were used past their expiry date, and the preparation areas were unhygienic.
Dr Jaswant Jangra, president of the resident doctors’ association at AIIMS, said that a final report based on the internal committee’s inspection is awaited and talks will be initiated by the AIIMS’ administration accordingly.
“Based on the findings of the final report, we are thinking of requesting the administration to have FSSAI inspect the food quality monthly, or at least once in two months, to ensure that the quality of food served in the hostels is up to the mark,” Dr Jangra said.
Last week, four of the seven samples collected from hostel messes in AIIMS failed the FSSAI test for food safety. On August 25, a team of six food safety officers collected samples of food items from each of the hostels and found that messes in hostel number seven and a cafeteria in mess number five did not adhere to safety standards despite earlier warnings. The AIIMS administration had directed that the messes and cafeteria be shut down.
HT had reported that days after the FSSAI inspection, the messes and cafeteria were shut based on the food safety report findings and complaints of sub-standard food quality—including pest infestation in ingredients and cooked food items.
“In view of the observations during a surprise inspection of the various messes by members of the food safety and hygiene committee, the executive members of the user organisations and food safety inspectors, it has been decided to shut down the messes in hostel seven and the cafe in hostel five with effect from the morning of Tuesday, August 30, 2022,” the order said.