INDIA – Food safety department officials have raided a popular restaurant on 100 Feet Road in Chennai’s Vadapalani found close to 60 kg of expired meat, including chicken and fish.

The raid was in response to a customer complaint stating that they had been served stale meat at the Ya Mohaideen Biryani restaurant.

A team of officials led by Dr Satheesh Kumar, designated Food Safety Officer in Chennai, inspected the restaurant kitchen and found the expired meat in a damaged freezer box. According to the officials, the meat was not stored at the requisite temperature.

Addressing reporters, Dr Kumar said they have shut down the kitchen for 15 days and have asked the restaurant in-charge to upgrade kitchen and freezer facilities. The restaurant was slapped with a fine of about Rs.5000 (US$ 64.38).

After 15 days it will be inspected again by the Food Safety Department and then the restaurant will be given a no-objection certificate depending on the nature of the store.

“When we checked the kitchen, we found expired chicken meat and biryani. We have seized it and we will destroy the meat. Approximately, we have seized around 50-60 kg of expired meat.

“We will be sending the samples from the stale meat to the food lab for analysis. Once we get the results, we will initiate action against the restaurant,” he said.

He said the management could not explain why expired meat had been stored in the freezer and they had no proper bills.

Dr Kumar further urged the public to approach them in case of any complaints about the quality of food served in restaurants.

He revealed that the department would be conducting surprise checks in restaurants across the state.

“Our intention is not to damage the reputation of a restaurant but we want good food to be served to the customers.

“If they (the raided restaurant) give us in writing that all the defects pointed out by us are rectified, we will inspect and provide them permission to operate again. If we find lapses, even in the second round of inspection, we will permanently shut down the restaurant,” he added.

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