4 May, 2018
Gone are the days when registering a complaint about adulteration in food products, unhygienic eateries, and poor food quality was a long-drawn process that many never even made the effort. With technological advancements transforming our lives every day, it might not come as a surprise that the Tamil Nadu food safety and drug administration department now provides the option of making your complaints and grievances known to them through Whatsapp /text messages.
This feature has been active since May and the complaints that have been coming in have seen a distinct rise according to official reports. Poor hygiene, prominently at roadside eateries, food adulteration and the use of synthetic food colours are the complaints that are most often made via texts.
“We are getting complaints such as serving recycled food at restaurants, the sale of expired food products and poor quality of packaged drinking water. We have been taking action on such issues swiftly. We are also educating manufacturers and food vendors on how to maintain high food quality,” said Dr. Senthilkumar Ramakrishnan, the designated officer (DO) for Trichy district food safety and drug administration department.
The food safety department receives a complaint and forwards it to designated officers from the respective districts, who are given 24 hours to investigate the issue and send back a report to the Chennai office. Not surprisingly, many of the complaints are on the roadside eateries and their lack of hygiene and inferior quality of food.
While the complaints keep pouring in from the public, the traders and proprietors of eateries and food stalls claim that they are making enough efforts to maintain the hygiene as well as the quality of food. Some, however, feel that the food safety department’s rules and guidelines aren’t clear enough and are hard to follow. “Through our association, we regularly discuss about increasing the food quality. But we don’t necessarily agree with all the rules and regulations,” was V. Govindarajalu, the general secretary of Tamil Nadu Vanigar Sangangalin Peramaippu’s response to the issue of rising complaints.