Andhra Pradesh: Food Commission to clamp down on adulteration

Vijay Prathap Reddy
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Vijay Prathap Reddy

Highlights

AP Food Commission is likely to use technology to curb the menace of food adulteration in the state.

Vijayawada: AP Food Commission is likely to use technology to curb the menace of food adulteration in the state.

In an exclusive interview to The Hans India, AP Food Commission Chairman Vijay Prathap Reddy Chitha said they had set up a toll-free number and WhatsApp group for feedback from the public on quality of food served at restaurants, weight of various goods at public distribution system and to know whether or not proper nutrient supplements were being given to the children at Anganwadi centres.

Based on the feedback, he said, surprise raids will be taken up. Seeking public cooperation, Reddy said in future they also propose to set up a call centre to receive and monitor the grievances pertaining to food adulteration and irregularities in the public distribution system.

Replying to a question, the Food Commission Chairman said ensuring correct measurement in PDS was most important factor. Ever since the WhatsApp group was created, some complaints were received following which field inspections were conducted. It was noticed that some dealers were resorting to wrong weighing of rice and cases were filed against them and licenses were cancelled. The timely action of the Food Commission sent a message among PDS dealers that no such activity would be tolerated.

To check malpractices by ration dealers, the Chairman said ration dealers have been asked to give receipt to the people. He asked the people to insist that the ration dealers give receipts. If there is any mismatch between the details mentioned in the receipt and the actual quantity delivered, it would become a punishable offence.

Similarly, if the customer is not interested to take any of the products like rice, sugar or dal, it should be mentioned clearly in receipt. Not doing so will amount to malpractice by the dealer, Prathap Reddy said.

The Commission was also receiving several complaints pertaining to serving of stale non-vegetarian food in restaurants. Hence, the hoteliers have been asked to buy required quantity of meat or fish and not to serve stale food the next day by preserving in deep freezers. Tough action will be taken against those who violate it, he added.

Reddy said soon they were planning to form teams to conduct surprise visits to restaurants to curb the menace of serving of stale food items. A meeting will be conducted on June 28 with all the departments concerned to discuss on the issue to intensify raids on hotels and restaurants.

When asked about the supply of fortified rice through PDF, he said fortified rice consisting of folic acid, Vitamin B12 and iron was being supplied through PDS in six districts as pilot project including Vizianagaram, Srikakulam and Kadapa. He said the opposition parties had taken a false campaign saying that fortified rice was not being supplied.

He further said that the state government has been supplying fortified rice in mid-day meal scheme, at Anganwadi centres and welfare hostels to prevent under nourishment of children.

Also under Jagananna Gorumudda scheme, eggs are being supplied to children in Anganwadi centres. In case any child does not prefer egg, banana is given to the child, he said.

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