VIJAYAWADA: Keeping in view the complaints received from the public, raising suspicion that mutton was being mixed with beef, the public health department officials of the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) on Sunday decided to bring the butchers across the city under the scanner.
In all, the city has around 300 mutton stalls and 30 beef stalls enrolled with the public health department.
However, some of them are earning quick money by adulterating the mutton with beef.
The beef is available at an affordable price of Rs 250 to Rs 300 per kg, in comparison to the mutton being sold at approximately Rs 500 to Rs 600 per kg in Vijayawada.
Taking a serious note of the matter, special teams headed by a veterinary assistant surgeon (VAS) N Sridhar on Friday had carried out surprise checks at Moghalrajpuram, Ayodhya Nagar, Jammi Chettu Centre and near Amma Kalyana Mandapam and seized 200 kg of adulterated meat.
As part of the drive, the special teams imposed a penalty of Rs 10,000 against a butcher and sealed three stalls near Amma Kalyana Mandapam for selling the adulterated meat to the public. The drive would be further taken up on Sunday.
“We came to know that a few sections of butchers in the city are adulterating mutton and selling the same to the hotels and restaurants of the city. In this regard, the civic body has decided to take stern action against hoteliers, if they are found to be selling adulterated meat and their trade licences will also be cancelled on the spot,” Sridhar told TNIE on Saturday.
Elaborating further, the VAS said that from November 25 (Monday) onwards, a continuous seven-day drive will begin to sensitise the butchers to encourage their customers to bring steel utensils for carrying the meat, in order to stop the circulation of single-use plastic bags.
A notice will be given to each shop, containing a slew of measures to be taken upon their respective premises, including selling of meat in a clean and hygienic atmosphere.
When asked whether the civic body will be penalising the butchers who are still circulating single-use plastic, Sridhar said that as part of the special drive to be taken up from Monday, instructions will be given to the officials to sensitise the butchers about the ill-effects of plastic.