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Rotten Animal Meat Being Sold in Kolkata, Restaurant Owners Urge Stringent Checks on Roadside Eateries

In the past week nine people were arrested for selling carcass meat collected from the dumpyards at Budge Budge, Sonarpur and Kalyani areas. More than 25 tonnes of rotten and carcass meat were seized from various illegal cold storages in Kolkata.

Sujit Nath | News18.com

Updated:May 1, 2018, 8:00 PM IST

Kolkata: Even as the fear of consuming meat of dead animals takes hold in Kolkata, the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Eastern India (HRAEI) on Tuesday urged people not to panic.

The Association maintained that the reputed restaurants in Park Street, and in other parts of city, follow strict food safety standards and customers can still enjoy their favourite cuisines without apprehension.

The scare followed the recent arrest of several people selling dead chicken and meat from animal carcasses in dumpyards adjacent to the city which made their way to eateries in the city through illegal cold storage facilities.

Speaking to News18, HRAEI president Sudesh Poddar said, “Most of the restaurants in the city maintain a very high standard of food and its hygiene. We procure raw materials from reputed and licensed dealers where perishable items like meat, fish, egg are carefully handpicked. Therefore, I would like to request Kolkatans and the tourists not to panic and freely enjoy their food.”

Maintaining that the spurious meat mostly made way to cheap roadside eateries in and around the city, Poddar said: “This is alarming and the administration should take stern measures against people who are playing with the health of people.”

In the past week nine people were arrested for selling carcass meat collected from the dumpyards at Budge Budge, Sonarpur and Kalyani areas. More than 25 tonnes of rotten and carcass meat were seized from various illegal cold storages in Kolkata.

“The kingpin of the racket, Sunny Malik, was arrested and our probe is still going on,” Superintendent of Police, South 24-Parganas, Koteswar Rao, said.

Kolkata Municipal Corporation’s MMIC, Health, Atin Ghosh recently held a meeting with his officials and ordered an inquiry into the matter. The civic body has also sent samples of seized meat to Central Forensic Science Laboratory and is awaiting reports.

Well known restaurateur and senior HRAEI member Alka Sehgal, said, “We discussed the matter but there is no need to panic because most of the well-known restaurants in the city are serving good and quality food. One can safely order non-veg food. We have reputed vendors and we procure products from those who maintain high standards of hygiene.”

She added: “We have dedicated team who maintains food safety standards and soon we are also going to set up a lab in Kolkata where we can test food samples.”

Concerned over the mushrooming roadside eateries, she said, “It might be possible that such meat is making its way to such food joints. There should be a mechanism to test the food these roadside eateries are serving to customers. The consumers should also think twice before going to such food joints.”

Nitin Kothari, owner of popular Mocambo and Peter Cat restaurants on Park Street, said, “There is no drop in the sale. People are enjoining food in my restaurant. Our Chicken Ala Kiev and Chelo Kebab are as much in demand as they were before. We don’t compromise on food quality.”

“But yes, after this scare we have appointed more supervisors to ensure that the raw material entering our kitchen passes through multiple checks. It is scary to read about these people involved in such horrible racket,” he added.

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| Edited by: Ashutosh Tripathi
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