Rourkela: Food safety regulator does not want to take any more chance after Maggi and Dadri episodes. As per the Indian food safety act 2006, the regulator needs to take proactive steps to check the food quality served in different places like hotels, hostels or the packaged foods which are readily available.
According to our sources recently the regulator did a surprise raid on Hostel number 12 mess of NIT, Rourkela. During check they found all the food materials are up to the standard expected from hostel food except dal which looked like containing too many real grains of Tur dal.
Looking at the cost of Tur Dal that is running now and historically the density usually maintained in hostel dal, this was a big surprise for the food safety regulator team and they gave special focus to the dal during their raid.
MTech Student Bhola Shankar who is a regular late comer to the mess explained to us the scenario as it unfolded on the day of the raid.
Bhola said, “Being a lazy person, on Saturday and Sundays before lunch hour, I will not wake up. Last Sunday was terrible for me; there was no water by the time I woke up. As I called the boy in charge of our corridor, he told me lot of extra water has gone to the preparation of dal. Earlier our dal preparation had 1 kg grains for 5 liter of water. Now hostel warden has instructed the cook to make the ratio 1:15 as the Tur Dal price has tripled in last few months.”
“When I reached mess, most of items were over except huge quantity of ultra-liquid dal which was left on our table for flies. Somehow I managed with papads which had become soft like rotis and rotis which had become hard like papads, when the raid happened. As some of the team members who have been ex-NITians have stayed in this hostel and have tasted similar food for years, they were surprised as soon as they found five grains dal while lifting a spoon of yellow liquid. This is when they called the hostel mess supervisor and grilled him to know if it’s real dal,” Bhola said.
“Poor supervisor had to show the chart and ratio to the hostel warden and superintendent to convince the raid team. Also he demonstrated the running test of dal which the management asked him to do before food is served to students. Dal should be able to run at least 100 meters if thrown on the floor. Raid team did not want to take it lightly; they decided to send the samples to nearby forensic lab for further testing,” Bhola added.
One of the members of regulator team told us the reason for such strict checking. He said, “We must avoid repeat of Dadri kind of incident in future, Government has empowered us with additional powers so that we can check the food prepared or stored at home. We will not check only hygienic issues which anyway most people are already adhering to after the initiation of swachh bharat abhiyan, in addition we will check what you are eating as per the law or not. The message is loud and clear, Government knows best. They would decide what our citizens will be allowed to eat and what might be bad for their health which they must avoid at any cost.”