HYDERABAD: Residents of the city are in for a rude shock on coming to know that a few restaurants are using animal fat, which is supposed to be used for making soaps and other industrial products, for cooking food putting the health of the people at risk. Use of industrial animal fat in preparation of food products is prohibited since it cannot meet the required hygienic standards for cooking oil. Animal fat also contains high levels of chemical pollutants.
With vegetable oil prices shooting up, some restaurants are resorting to cheaper alternatives like using oil made from industrial animal fats.
Flooded with protests from people, the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation got into the act and sealed the factories which are engaged in extracting oil from animal fat. “We conducted raids for three days continuously and sealed a fat-melting unit in Alinagar in the old city. We served a closure notice on another company at Shankarnagar,” said an official.
Industrial animal fat is mainly used in making soap. “Upon reaching the unit, we found 80 tins of oil, apart from animal fat of dead animals. We also found several bills belonging to other states,” the official added.
Another senior official explained that GHMC would take serious note of any complaint made regarding use of animal oil in food and would take immediate action. “People can differentiate between cooking oil and oil made from animal fat from their colour and smell. If anybody finds that restaurants are using animal fat, they can send an SMS to the GHMC and our food inspectors will immediately check it out,” the official said.