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Clean chit to McDonalds, Pizza Hut raises eyebrows

IMC CHIEF Health Officer Dr A K Puranik on Monday Okayed food served at McDonalds an hour after going public about his doubts regarding the edibility of meat served at the fast-food outlet.

india Updated: Feb 21, 2006 00:32 IST

IMC CHIEF Health Officer Dr A K Puranik on Monday Okayed food served at McDonalds an hour after going public about his doubts regarding the edibility of meat served at the fast-food outlet.

The clean chit came after an inspection of kitchen facilities at McDonalds and Pizza Hut to ascertain whether meat was being heated at temperatures high enough to kill the H5N1 (bird flu) virus.

Eateries near Velocity Cinema as well as roadside dhabas serving non-veg fare at Transport Nagar and Lasudia were also checked for hygiene norms during the inspection carried out by a joint team of Health and Veterinary Department officials. The team seized rotten and rotting foodstuff from the raids at the dhabas, which was subsequently destroyed.

The team, however, issued no challans and the dhaba owners were let off with a warning to maintain hygiene in their establishments.

Earlier, addressing a press conference regarding the bird flu scare Dr Puranik said, “Very often, chicken in McDonald burgers is cooked only at 40 degrees Celsius. So ensure that they are well cooked before eating”.

He added that the Health Department would inspect burger and pizza outlets in the City to ascertain whether meat was being heated at temperatures high enough to kill the H5N1 (bird flu) virus.

Dr Puranik, however, gave a clean chit to both McDonalds and Pizza Hut after an inspection of the two fast-food outlets carried out an hour later.

“During the inspection the team learnt that there was no chance of food at McDonald’s being contaminated by the bird flu virus as meat is heated in ovens at temperatures as high as 125 degrees Celsius before being served,” said the Health Officer.

The IMC official was also all praise for deep-freeze storage facilities and sanitation standards at Pizza Hut and McDonalds, both of which are located at Treasure Island.

First Published: Feb 21, 2006 00:32 IST