Eating out is not that safe

Eating out is not that safe

Unhygienic environment

Eating out is not that safe

There are several restaurants in the City that are being pulled up for poor maintenance of their kitchens and penalised. People frequenting these restaurants express shock and disbelief at the news of their kitchens swarming with mosquitos and flies.

Restaurant owners, though, claim that the kitchens are built and maintained
according to the standards prescribed  by the BBMP’s health department but the claim is far from reality.

Toilets nestling close to the kitchens of many of the posh restaurants give away the truth.
Metrolife visited a couple of restaurants and interacted with people who eat out
regularly to understand if they care about hygienic conditions in restaurant kitchens.

Most of the big hotels have a ‘no admission’ board at the entrance of the kitchens, which are concealed. Nobody really gets to see what goes on inside the kitchen. On the
other hand, darshinis have an open kitchen simply so that one can see what is being cooked.

Balasundar, deputy health officer (East zone), BBMP, informs that every year by March 31, all hotels across the City are expected to renew their trade licence. “All trade licences are issued only for a period of one year and at the end of it, we go on an inspection and check if they have framed and displayed the trade licence at the entrance of the hotel. We check for clean store houses and storage of raw materials, good drinking water, hot water for washing vessels and whether the food is reheated,” explains Balasundar.

 There are two issues that the health department of the BBMP spots in most hotels — frozen food being directly used without being brought to room temperature and
reheating old food, “Bacteria multiplies in frozen food when stored for too long and develops into what are called ‘spores.’ It is this form of bacteria that leads to illnesses such as typhoid and gastroenteritis,” he informs.   

Balasundar states that the BBMP is also looking at the issue of garbage disposal from hotels. “We are aware that garbage is being dumped into drains by some hotels and we have also warned them about the same.

It is the responsibility of hotel owners to ensure that the premises of hotels and waste disposal from hotel kitchen is regular. This could trigger health issues in people,” he says.

 People who eat out regularly say that they are particular about good kitchens. Pooja Prabhakar, director of BCP Associates, says, “I always choose where I want to eat. I travel a lot on work and invariably end up eating out a lot. I also think it’s important to eat out according to the season.”

Vijay Pai, a professional, feels that most hotels in the City are trying to replicate the West in their menu and style of cooking.

   “The food may be served well but I don’t think it is hygienically cooked. It’s best to eat home-made food to steer clear of trouble,” he shares. Vishal Rao, a professional, confesses that he has suffered from stomach upset after eating at one of the prominent hotels in the City.

   “I was out with my friends for lunch and one of them found a cockroach in his food. It was terrible,” he says. His wife Deepa sums up saying, “It’s important to watch where you are eating and what you are eating.”