A hotel in Kukatpally, Telangana was fined INR 5000 after a resident found a piece of iron wire in the biryani and the curd rice that he ordered. Srinivas Bellam placed an order for food online from Zomato from Raja Vari Ruchulu in Kukatpally on 15 January, 2020. “While eating biryani, I felt something odd in my mouth. When I removed it I realized it was a piece of iron wire. The food delivery team responded by apologizing and offered a discount instead,” said Bellam.
Dissatisfied with the grievance redressal on Zomato, he filed a complaint through the My GHMC app and Twitter. “Within a day, the health team visited the hotel and imposed a fine,” he said while also saying that he would lodge a complaint regarding the same with the consumer forum.
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) last year issued revised guidelines that directly impact online food and grocery operators such as Grofers and BigBasket as well as food delivery platforms like Swiggy and Zomato.
Food products offered for sale at the online platforms are liable to sampling at any point in the supply chain. Companies will also need to provide an indicative image of the food on their platforms so that consumers can recognise the product. All mandatory information mentioned in the Food Safety and Standards (FSS) Act, 2006 will also have to be provided to consumers before purchase and only fresh food should be delivered to consumers.
"With increasing use of ecommerce platforms by consumers, the guidelines are aimed at stepping up vigilance on safety of food provided to consumers," FSSAI Chief Executive Pawan Agarwal said. "These guidelines will help in building confidence in the ecommerce food business sector and increase its credibility."
Author: Nandini Gandhi