VIJAYAWADA: Think twice before you buy chicken or mutton in the city. The Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) seized 400 kg of rotten mutton from a few shops in One Town and at Gollapalem Gattu in the city on Sunday.
VMC veterinary assistant surgeon A Ravi Chand, who conducted surprise checks at the markets in the city, said the shops purchased the rotten meat from Guntur.
Acting on a tip-off by an anonymous caller around 4:30 am, a VMC team, led by Ravi Chand, visited two shops and found the rotten meat stored in refrigerators and carcasses of 40 goats and sheep. During inquiry, it was revealed that the rotten meat was being sliced into pieces to supply it to hotels in the city, he said.
Ravi Chand told The New Indian Express that the huge portion of the seizure came from the local Sunday markets in Guntur and Prakasam districts, where sheep and goats are procured from Telangana.
“A week ago, the food safety officials raided a restaurant and seized around 150 kg of rotten meat stored in a refrigerator. Sensing that a few hotels in the city are procuring the rotten meat from the shops, we have stepped up vigil,” Ravi Chand said, adding that the seized meat was buried at the dump yard.
A fine of Rs 50,000 will be imposed against the meat shops. A complaint was also lodged with the One Town police against the shops, he said.It may be recalled that the Public Health Department officials seized 1.5 tonnes of spoiled meat packed in 14 boxes that arrived in the city by Howrah-Yesvantpur Express from West Bengal, Odisha and Uttar Pradesh on October 3. The consignment was to be delivered to one Khaja of Machilipatnam.
However, the VMC officials did not proceed further in the investigation and trace the consignee.
Asked whether, the carcasses of goats and sheep found at the shops in the city were brought from other States like earlier, Ravi Chand said the higher officials of the South Central Railway (SCR) spoke to him over phone and said they have also stepped up vigil on the consignments coming from North India.
“We are suspecting that the meat traders are procuring unhealthy and diseased animals from Telangana. It has also come to our notice that some hotels and restaurants are mixing beef with mutton. We will take stern action against the errant hotels which resorted to adulteration of mutton,” he warned.