DHENKANAL: Local food processing industries are minting money at the cost of lives of thousands of consumers in Dhenkanal district.
As many as 200 micro and medium factories have mushroomed in different places of the district in the last few years. According to sources, bread from Dhenkanal and Angul districts, mixture, cake, wheat and flour- based products, spices and different varieties of packaged food items having no address and product ingredients are available in shops across the district.
On several occasions, allegations of sale of stale bread and cakes at small outlets like ‘paan’ shops and other such units on plea of having validity have come to the fore. A consumer, Chandan Hota, took ill after consuming a bread purchased from a kiosk. Though the bread was two days old, the shopkeeper insisted that it had seven-day validity, said Hota, who had to be rushed to district headquarters hospital for food poisoning after consuming it three days back.
As the local food products are affordable compared to the branded ones, consumers prefer it over the costly ones.
The thriving business is estimated at over `one crore. Though the officials of Sales Tax and Income Tax are in the know of things, locals alleged that they prefer to turn a blind eye to the unhealthy trend.
Meanwhile, CDMO Dr SK Das said he will look into the matter and direct ADMO (public health) to conduct a thorough inspection. As only one food safety inspector is in charge of three districts, he assured that steps will be taken to check the menace.