‘Swiggy, Zomato creating nuisance’: GHMC officials

Hyderabad: The food control department of Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) registered at least 10 complaints in a month, against food delivered by popular aggregators Swiggy and Zomato for serving unhygienic food.

In response, the two insist that they are merely ‘delivery agencies’.

GHMC food safety inspector E Sudarshan Reddy told NewsMeter, “Swiggy and Zomato have created nuisance by offering discounts. High discounts by the food delivery agencies leads to revenue loss for hotels. As a means to compensate the loss, hotels are serving poor quality food to customers. Many customers are complaining about finding hair, cockroaches and other things in their food.”

Once the food is ordered through this app, only delivery is the responsibility of Swiggy and Zomato, while restaurants are accountable for quality of food, packaging and cooking in a minimum time, say food control department officials.

“We usually receive complaints blaming the restaurant. The food is served to the customer, with the receipt from the restaurant and the customer usually tends to blame the eatery. We would instead suggest them to complain on the delivery platform as they are also equally responsible,” says Mr Reddy.

The officers said that whenever they go for inspection, they usually find that they don’t maintain cleanliness standards and they are duly fined. “Whenever we receive complaints, we are sure that the hotel might not be following food safety rules. The kitchen will be unclean. So it is also the fault of hotel at times,” says Mr Reddy.

In October Paradise was fined, Rs one Lakh as a customer had found hair in the biryani served on his table. The officer pointed out that the hotel did not maintain cleanliness. “Whenever we go to restaurants for inspection, we find that at least five to six rules are violated. So it becomes easy for the delivery platform to blame them for lack of hygiene.”

Currently the Food Control department of GHMC is running with staff strength of four. Given the shortage, only 25% of cases are addressed and resolved, said the officials. “A city this big, needs at least 50 food inspectors, but there are only one four, because of this we are not able to keep an eye on all restaurants. Currently, we are just disposing complaints and we are not going for raids.”

Aiswarya Sriram

Aiswarya Sriram is a budding multimedia journalist and is currently working for NewsMeter. A graduate from Indian Institute of Journalism and New Media (IIJNM) Bangalore, Aiswarya has earlier worked with The Logical Indian and has interned with Republic TV. Aiswarya, a Tamilian who was born and brought up in Mumbai, loves to do rural reporting. She has visited Byadgi Taluk of Karnataka, to write about the issues faced by chilli factory workers there, earlier in 2019. A craft enthusiast, Aiswarya also does quilling, painting and glass work. On her off-days, she loves to read crime-thrillers and watch anime. She primarily reports on civic issues, GHMC, human-interesting features, and fact-checking video stories.

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