Over 800 Food Outlets Inspected In Kerala

Reports of adulteration, use of chemical dyes, and cooking in unhygienic conditions have been surfacing rampantly across states in India, especially since the beginning of 2024. According to recent reports, food safety department officials in Kerala inspected more than 800 food outlets selling bottled water and cold drinks to ensure that the vendors are using clean water and ice for beverages and dishes being served.

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They looked for places that experienced a footfall of tourists. This came to light while the Karnataka government banned food colourings and Goa’s Mapusa cracked down on vendors selling gobi manchurian in unhygienic conditions. State governments and health officials are trying to ensure that the use of harmful chemicals and unhygienic cooking conditions do not hamper the health of the public. Therefore, reports of crackdowns have become more frequent these days.

800 Food Outlets Inspected In Kerala

Health Minister Veena George said that the health department would continue with such inspections in the upcoming days. They have also directed eateries not to expose packaged drinking water and aerated drinks to sunlight. They should not be carried in open vehicles for the same reason.

The health officials want to ensure that soft drinks, bottled water, ice creams, and ice candies must be sold in an enclosed space in a hygienic environment. This should be the norm during fairs and festivals as well. The vendors must ensure that they are sourcing aerated drinks and packaged drinking from reliable and licensed manufacturers who ensure high-quality products.

So far, the department has scoured at least 815 food joints across Kerala in the past few days. They found seven such establishments in violation of many food safety laws. Hence, the officials suspended their licenses. At least 54 firms have received rectification notices listing what are the various areas where they can and must improve. Failing to follow the directives, these eateries might witness strict actions against them.

The reports indicate that around 37 companies have received compound notices. The officials collected around 328 surveillance samples and 26 statutory samples to run follow-up tests. These samples have been sent to the food safety department’s laboratories where experts will identify if the joints need to be further evaluated. 

Similar campaigns are being run simultaneously in Karnataka, Telangana, and Goa, where food department officials are trying to identify if vendors are neglecting public health in order to make more money. If found guilty, these joints will be investigated and strict actions will be taken against them.