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KMC to conduct drives at eateries to assess quality of chicken served

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KOLKATA: The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) will conduct drives at restaurants as well as roadside food stalls across the city to ensure the quality of chicken that is being served to customers.

The decision of the civic body comes in the wake of Baduria police in North 24 Parganas unearthing illegal supply of dead chicken to eateries.

“We will check whether raw chicken is preserved in the proper way. Chemicals like formalin should not be used for preservation of chicken as consumption of the same can cause serious health hazards. We will ensure that people in the city do not consume inferior quality chicken,” Mayor in Council (MMiC) Health, Atin Ghosh said.

The food safety officers of KMC’s health department will conduct surprise drives, pick up stocks in the form of samples and will check them in their laboratory to find out if any chemical is used for preservation. Poultry farms in North 24 Parnagas and South 24 Parganas account for the supply of chicken to the different eateries in the city.

According to Ghosh, if irregularities are found with the restaurants that are registered with the civic body, action will be taken as per law on violations on Food Safety Standards Act.

“In case of roadside eateries, we will lodge complaint with the Enforcement Branch of Kolkata Police urging them to take action under Section 272 and 273 of Indian Penal Code,” Ghosh added.

It may be mentioned that the police raid at Baduria was conducted after sanitary inspector of Baduria Municipality Tanay Kanti Roy lodged a complaint with the police alleging that dead chicken was supplied to eateries in Kolkata. There are 10,000 to 12,000 poultries at Baduria.

A senior official of the food department of the KMC said the civic body will soon get an allocation of Rs 3 crore from the state government for strengthening its infrastructure regarding food safety drives.

The KMC presently has 13 food safety officers. “We have plans to set up 16 mobile teams comprising food inspectors, one in each of the 16 boroughs. We can build up the infrastructure when the funds are available. We have learnt that our proposal in this regard has already been accepted,” the official added.

Baduria police are investigating the allegations that for the last few months there has been supply of dead chicken after putting formalin on the stuff from poultry farms situated at Anarpur, Mathabhanga and Taragunia areas.

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