Texting complaints on food safety on rise in city
Though the facility of registering complaints/grievances about adulteration of food products and inferior quality of food through WhatsApp/text message was introduced by the Tamil Nadu food safety and drug administration department in May last year, the initiative has picked up momentum in the city only recently. Food adulteration, poor hygiene at roadside eateries and use of synthetic colours and essence in fruit juices/drinks are the most common complaints the city food safety department has been receiving through WhatsApp and SMS texts on its official complaints number.
The designated officer (DO) for Trichy district food safety and drug administration department, Dr Senthilkumar Ramakrishnan, said the general public had raised various complaints and the issues are constantly being addressed by the department. “We are getting complaints such as serving recycled food at restaurants, sale of expired food products and poor quality of packaged drinking water. We have been taking action on such issues swiftly,” he told TOI. “We are also educating manufacturers and food vendors on how to maintain high food quality,” Ramakrishnan said.
When a person sends a complaint, it is received by the food safety department in Chennai. It is forwarded by them to the designated officers of the corresponding districts and the officials are given a period of 24 hours to conduct inquiry and send a report back to the Chennai office. The report is also sent to the complainant. Many of the complaints are about the poor hygiene of the roadside eateries and about the location of the shops. “We are receiving many complaints regarding the poor hygiene at roadside food shops,” a city-based food safety officer said. He said if the corporation assigns particular spots to set up shops, it would immensely help improve food safety. On the other hand, traders, manufacturers and eatery/juice stall owners said that they have been consistently working towards maintaining the hygiene of their eateries and the quality of food. But a section of them maintained that some of the rules and regulations were complicated to follow. The general secretary of Tamil Nadu Vanigar Sangangalin Peramaippu, V Govindarajalu said, “Through our association, we regularly discuss about increasing the food quality. But we don’t necessarily agree with all the rules and regulations.”
Source: Times of India