Food served at AIIMS mess fails FSSAI quality test: Report
The official report by FSSAI said the samples of chicken curry, paneer and chutney failed the test conducted by the food regulator
Four of the seven food samples collected by the Food Safety and Standard Authority of India (FSSAI) from the mess at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) reportedly failed the food safety standards.
The official report by FSSAI said the samples of chicken curry, paneer and chutney failed the test.
Last week, HT had reported that days after the FSSAI inspection, the AIIMS hostel messes 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.
The AIIMS administration had directed that messes in hostel number seven and a cafeteria in hostel number five be shut down.
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“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 read.
Doctors at AIIMS had raised the issue of infestation in groceries, stale food items and unhygienic conditions in one of the hospital’s hostel messes.
The Resident Doctors’ Association also claimed that despite the FSSAI directing the hostel mess to shut down on August 10 after an inspection, the mess reopened with no improvement to the food quality.
Last week, several pictures of worms in cooked food, rats roaming around in cooking areas, fungal infestation in vegetables such as onions and potatoes, unclean utensils and trash lying close to food items and ingredients started doing the rounds on social media, after which the FSSAI inspected the premises on August 25.
“This matter is not new. Many doctors have raised the issue of sub-standard food quality in the mess. They have also sent us pictures of cockroaches and pests in their food. We have also raised this matter with the administration but no action was taken. This is a major health hazard, we could not do much during the Covid-19 pandemic because where else would doctors eat,” a member of the AIIMS’ RDA said.
Doctors also said in a meeting of the RDA on July 1 this year, issues of poor food quality, small portions and lack of hygiene were raised.
In a subsequent inspection of the mess also found that there were no dedicated food preparation areas, the working area and utensils were not properly cleaned, the equipment used to peel and cut the vegetable and fruits were not washed regularly, and protective gear such as masks, gloves, foot covers was not being used and ingredients used were not stored in proper temperature among other issues.
“An order to make immediate arrangements for the interim period has been issued. Messes of hostels nine, five, seven and eight (on the first floor) will be allotted on the nomination basis within the next two to three days,” said Dr Jaswant Jangra, president of the AIIMS RDA.