VIJAYAWADA: The food safety department officials in the State are gearing up to ensure that hygienic food is available to lakhs of pilgrims visiting Krishna-Guntur districts for the upcoming Krishna Pushkarams.
The officials, who drafted an action plan for pre-Pushkaram drive, already conducted raids on a few eateries at Pandit Nehru Bus Station and near Kanaka Durga temple in Vijayawada on Monday.
As part of the raids, officials confiscated artificial colouring agents and stale food items from a few restaurants. On the directions issued by medical and health principal secretary Poonam Malakondaiah, and food safety commissioner Samuel Anand, as many as 33 special teams of food safety wing have been deputed on special duties in Krishna-Guntur districts for Pushkarams.
Of the total,18 special teams will keep a check on Pushkar nagars, hotels, sweet shops, roadside eateries, food courts and annadanam sathrams in Krishna district and 15 teams will monitor the food quality in Guntur district.
As part of the pre-Pushkaram drives, the special teams will be divided into sub-teams for administrative convenience. In Krishna district, four teams will monitor the food safety between Gollapudi to Vedadri, eight teams in Vijayawada and six teams between Thotlavalluru to Hamsaladeevi. While in Guntur district, two teams will monitor from Macherla, five teams from Amaravati and eight teams from Tenali. Each team will be monitored by the food inspector and other officials.
The special teams will also intensify drives to avert all possibilities of food poisoning and to prevent the entry of junk food traders without trade licenses or authorisation from the concerned authorities.
Krishna district food safety officer T Sekhar Reddy, on Tuesday said, that searches will continue in the next few days. Special teams under the control of the health department will carry out inspections of eateries in Krishna-Guntur districts.
Licences of establishments will be caught for violation of hygiene norms and notices will be served to them with immediate effect, he said.
T Sekhar Reddy said, “We have instructed all food business operators to ensure that they function fully in accordance with the Food Safety and Standards Act as lakhs of pilgrims from across the State will be congregating in the city for Krishna Pushkarams, all of whom would be mostly dependent on food and beverages served by eateries in the city”.
Stringent action will be taken against those who serve poor quality food items and water to the pilgrims, he added.