FDA cracks down on Mumbai eateries: Orders 113 to shut shop, serves notices to online delivery platforms
In a major crackdown, the Maharashtra Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has ordered 113 restaurants, which didn’t possess valid licenses and were caught preparing food in unhygienic conditions, to shut shop with immediate effect.
It also served show-cause notices to online food aggregators like Zomato, Swiggy, UberEats, and Foodpanda for delivering food from these eateries.
The action comes in the backdrop of a city-wide inspection during which FDA officials surveyed a total of 347 outlets in Mumbai between September 21 to October 1.
During the inspection, officials found that 113 eateries in the city were operating without any license or registration, and were in gross violation of the Food Safety and Standard Act.
Of them, 85 had tied-up with Swiggy, 50 with Zomato, three with Foodpanda and two with UberEats.
In half the cases, the food was being prepared in filthy kitchens which lacked basic hygiene, proper sanitation, and adequate ventilation.
Popular eateries like Udta Punjab (Goregaon), Anda Apna Apna (Andheri) and Foodies Home Delivery Guru (Chembur) are reportedly among those that have been served stop-business notices. They can re-apply for a license after rectifying violations.
According to FDA Commissioner Pallavi Darade, the online food delivery platforms were served notices as they facilitated the delivery of food from eateries which didn’t have valid licenses and lacked any quality control.
Food aggregators are also required to comply with food safety rules and regulations, Darade said, adding that they are also liable to lose license in case of violations.
Back in July, the Food Safety and Standard Authority of India (FSSAI) had ordered ten online food delivery platforms to remove outlets running without registration and licenses, which resulted in the delisting of over 5,000 restaurants.
Swiggy removed 4,000 restaurants from its pan-India network following the FSSAI order, while Zomato, Foodpanda, and UberEats delisted 2,500, 1,800 and 2,000 eateries respectively from their apps.
“Over the past two months, we have delisted hundreds of restaurants that were not compliant with FSSAI regulations or have poor customer ratings, while simultaneously assisting many restaurants to procure their licenses through our FSSAI Assist Programme,” a Swiggy spokesperson said.
Additionally, the company is only partnering with restaurants that are registered with the FSSAI, and provide their license number at the time of listing.
Per regulation, eateries with a turnover of less than Rs 12 lakh are required to register themselves, while those with a turnover of over Rs 12 lakh must have an FDA license.