Hotel owners cry foul as govt cracks down on bad food

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The ongoing campaign by the Food Control Committee against substandard and adulterated food in the federal capital entered its fourth day as more eateries were either sealed or heavily fined.

Since the start of the campaign, dozens of bakeries, hotels and other food outlets have been sealed, fined and warned. Famous food outlets of the capital also drew unwanted public attention during the campaign as they did not meet the prescribed standards. Famous food outlets which have been sealed on charges of selling substandard food include Tehzeeb Bakers’ in Karachi Company, ‘Des Perdes’ hotel in Saidpur village, ‘Pappasallis’ in Jinnah Super, Chaykhana, and Savour Foods. Bakeries of Islambad and Marriott Hotels were also sealed.

On Thursday Captain Cook and United Bakers in F-6 were sealed, while fines of Rs 50,000, 30,000, and 8,000 were imposed respectively on Eterio, Munchies and China Food. According to the Islamabad capital administration these outlets were sealed and fined due to unhygienic conditions, poor personal hygiene, leftover food and insects in water and juice.

However administration of some of the food outlets claimed differently and denied charges of substandard and adulterated food. Administration of ‘Pappasalllis’ told Pakistan Today’ that the raid against their hotel was conducted on fake accounts and it was done only to create sensation on media. One of administration members said that the products recovered by capital administration team from the hotel premises were lying in store shelves for years but were not in use as they did not feature on the restaurant’s menu list. He said that some of the expired items were there due to an employee’s fault.

The Tehzeeb Baker’s administration told Pakistan Today that the sealing of Karachi company branch on the pretext of lack of cleanliness was baseless. One of Tehzeeb Baker employees said that if there was an issue of cleanliness, the branch would not have opened again. The employee said further, “We invite everyone to visit any of our branches at any time.”

When contacted by Pakistan Today, other food outlets made similar accusations against the capital administration and said that the expired and substandard food items were found on the premises due to someone else’s fault, not the administration’s.