Fast food stalls, situated on the roadside in Akhbarnagar, got a rude shock on Tuesday evening when they were raided by the flying squad of the health department of Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) allegedly for selling unhygienic stuff.
The officials uncovered some shocking elements - many stalls, for example, did not have health licences - and were not maintaining proper hygiene. Several pani puri vendors were not plying their trade in a hygienic manner. Gloves were not used by a majority of the vendors while serving the tasty snack that Amdavadis love so much.
A flying squad official told DNA, "Despite repeated instructions to wear gloves and caps while making and serving pani puri, the vendors do not follow our directives. Also, some of the vendors had long, uncut nails and were serving the puris without any sign of guilt. We have repeatedly ordered them to clean their hands, and long nails are not allowed due to obvious hygienic reasons."
During the raid, spoiled potatoes were found being used in the majority of the stalls. More than 5 kgs of boiled potatoes were destroyed by the officials. Moreover, the potatoes were boiled in unhygienic conditions using an old, overused sack to cover the vessel.
Many of the shops did not maintain hygiene at their kitchen premises. Also, the drinking water tank in the kitchen had become black with filth as if it had not been cleaned for ages.
The sandwich and hot dog stall may make you mouth water, but many such shops have bread packets where manufacturing or expiry dates were not mentioned. "The food products used should have the manufacturing date to provide information about the quality of the product and to know whether its expiry date has passed or not. We issued them a notice and charged a fine.
Moreover, the ketchup bottle used to make sandwiches was also locally made with no name or manufacturing date mentioned on the bottle. This is totally unacceptable," stated the official.
The officials also found plastic bags less than 40 microns thick, which the shops use for parcelling and take-aways.
"In all, the officials checked 10 shops including those selling pani puris, other fast food, sandwiches, hot dogs and ice cream. The total fines collected by the officials was around Rs 7,000 and notices were served on all the shop owners for licences, hygiene factors, adulterated food products etc," said Bhavin Solanki, deputy health officer, West Zone.