The Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) Administration sealed 33 food outlets and registered 25 First Information Reports (FIRs) throughout the city in its ongoing anti-adulteration drive during last six months.
The city administration had also imposed a fine over Rs1.7 million by conducting as many as 3,430 inspections to several outlets, besides serving 1,363 notices for different violations during the same period, an official in ICT told media on Sunday.
He said the ICT teams comprising assistant commissioners (AC) and magistrates had carried out raids to check the food quality, hygiene, working environment and food safety standards by ensuring the implementation of Pure Food Regulations.
To ensure the provision of contamination-free milk in the Federal capital, the official said, the ACs had discarded over 96,140 liters sub-standard milk and 240 kilograms (kgs) Khoya after placing screening pickets early morning at the entry and exit points in the city.
During operations against butchers and illegal slaughterhouses, the officials had disposed of 750 kgs sub-standard meat and 70 kgs unhygienic chicken. The department also confiscated 20 kgs Chinese salt (Ajinomoto) that had banned in the country last year after the authority’s scientific panel found it hazardous for health, he said.
Meanwhile, the capital dwellers complained that food outlets in commercial areas had gone unchecked despite knowing the fact that a number of people especially labour approached to those eateries. They said majority of the outlets had been operating in unhygienic conditions, using damaged crockery and dirty tables. Some restaurants even have tables near open drains, they regretted.
“It is strange that nobody bothers to visit such restaurants as they were selling low quality food in open environment, putting public lives at risk,” Anwar Raza, a retailer at Mehrabadi said.
The rates at those restaurants were quite high too, Ramzan a visitor at the same area said.
The authorities only check those restaurants that were registered with it and others were overlooked, he blamed.
While contacted, Deputy Commissioner Islamabad Hamza Shafqaat denied that action had only been taken against high-end outlets.
He said the raids were being carried out by ACs and magistrates randomly in their respective sub-divisions without any discrimination.