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FDA asks 113 outlets on online delivery services to shut shop

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In a first, the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) has issued stop-business notices to 113 food outlets that catered to customers through online delivery platforms. The outlets were operating without registration and licence, in extremely unhygienic conditions. The FDA has also served notices to food delivery platforms Swiggy, Zomato, UberEats and Foodpanda for sourcing food from such outlets.

FDA Commissioner Pallavi Darade said notices have been served to Swiggy, Zomato, UberEats and Foodpanda as many outlets they had a tie-up with were functioning without proper documents and were not maintaining quality standards. “Some of the outlets we visited were extremely shabby. Food was being prepared in filthy, congested premises,” Ms. Darade told The Hindu.

347 outlets surveyed

The FDA surveyed 347 food outlets from September 21 to October 1. Of the 113 outlets that were found to be functioning without licences, 85 were linked to Swiggy, 50 to Zomato, three to Foodpanda and two to UberEats. “Food aggregators have to comply with food safety rules and regulations too,” said Ms. Darade. As per rules, any food providers with turnover below ₹12 lakh must have registration and those with a turnover above Rs 12 lakh must have licence from FDA.

FDA asks 113 outlets on online delivery services to shut shop

The Food Safety and Standard Authority of India (FSSAI) had directed the food aggregators to delist outlets running without registration and licences by September 30 after which Zomato has delisted 2,500, Swiggy 4,000, Foodpanda 1,800 and UberEats 2,000 partner outlets across the country.

A spokesperson from Swiggy said that as of October 1, all the restaurants live on Swiggy have a FSSAI licence or acknowledgement of an application. “Over the past two months, we have delisted hundreds of restaurants that were not compliant with FSSAI regulations or have poor customer ratings, while simultaneously assisting many restaurants to procure their licences through our FSSAI Assist Programme,” the spokesperson said. Swiggy has been working with a reputed food-audit firm on food hygiene audits conducted in restaurants, he said. “Any restaurant interested in partnering with Swiggy must be FSSAI-registered, and provide their licence number, before getting listed on the platform.”

An Uber Eats spokesperson said they were committed to raising awareness about food safety standards and were working with the authorities to ensure good quality and safe food.

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