VIJAYAWADA: Even as the city is poised to become the temporary capital of Andhra Pradesh and the ‘eating out’ culture is fast catching up with the citizens, the absence of a proper mechanism to maintain hygienic practices at hotels and restaurants has become a major cause for concern.
While there is a requirement of 10 food inspectors in the city, only two are working at present. There are around 60 registered eateries and the issuance of licences to over 200 restaurants has been pending.
“As it is raining too often these days, the chances of an outbreak of water-borne diseases are high in the city. With the new government in place, we are hoping that the vacant food inspector posts will be filled,” said Dr P Ratnavali, VMC chief medical officer.
A VMC official said it was impossible for the existing two food inspectors to check the quality of food at all hotels in the city. Every food inspector was supposed to collect 18 samples in a month and it was impossible for the existing two inspectors to cover the entire city. The problems caused by unsafe food are numerous.
Dr Hussain, general physician at Andhra Hospital, said, “Fast food kills faster and the food additives cause damage to the vascular system. The repeated use of oil ends in saturation, causing endothelial damage. It also causes lipid abnormalities, amoebiasis, gastric erosion and ulcer symptoms.”
He said frequent checks by the authorities could help ensure hygienic practices in handling and storing food. However, food safety checks at these eateries were far from regular, he added.