VASCO: A team from the Food and Drugs Administration Directorate carried out an Enforcement Drive on Food Stalls operating at the Vasco Saptah.
The Directorate had earlier issued instructions to the Mormugao Municipal Council not to permit cooking activities at the temporary food stalls and to restrict the operation of stalls selling “Gobi Manchurian” as such stall operators engage in preparing the food item behind the stall area under unhygienic conditions without the proper facility of hygienic operations.
During the drive, it was regretted to note that despite such directives, Gobi Manchurian stalls were found operational at the saptah and the several attempts of the Directorate to coordinate with the local body to restrict such stalls turned futile. Hence enforcement action was initiated by FDA, and vendors found preparing Gobi Manchurian were booked under the Provisions of the Food Safety and Standards Act 2006, and cases will be registered with the Adjudicating Officer (Collector South) to penalize such vendors.
During the investigation, it was revealed that some vendors produced the Municipal Allotment slip indicating the trade as “readymade garments” and were actually operating Gobi Manchurian Stalls. No proper conditions like suitable washing area, enclosed structures, or proper disposal access to potable water were provided to these stalls by the Municipality; hence the conditions were not conducive to permitting cooking activities.
The FDA will also move a proposal; in a future instance, to restrict the operation of Food Outlets at such zatras, exhibitions, and festivals to a confined area designated as a Food Court or Food Zone where proper facilities like disposal, water, hygiene are made available to the vendors by the Local bodies or the organizer before allotment of stalls.
It is observed that Local bodies/ organizers while allotting food stalls fail to ensure that basic hygiene facilities are provided to the vendors, and thus this results in the unhygienic operation of the Food Stalls and also burdens the enforcement mechanism of the FDA.