KARACHI: A completely new department of Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC), the Food Quality Department sprang into action on Thursday and seized 500 kg gutka and issued notices to more than 400 hotels to ensure better quality.
Administrator Karachi Rauf Akhtar Farooqui said a completely new department was established in KMC to check the food items being sold in the city which was headed by a senior director.
“The food department has just started its work and seized 500 kg gutkha whereas more than 400 hotels were issued with the notices to ensure better quality of food items. In order to check the quality of common grocery items like cooking oil, fresh milk and mineral water 14 teams were formed immediately to carry out raids in different areas of the city, Farooqui said.
He expressed these views while addressing a joint meeting with the delegation of Pakistan Consumers Federation and officers of the Food Quality Control Department.
It is hoped that the department would work in the interest of citizens. It was a much needed step as with the rise of mercury, the diseases of food poisoning also increased.
The chairman of Pakistan Consumers Federation Kokab Iqbal, present on the occasion, briefed the administrator about the activities of federation and the Senior Director Food Quality Control Mukhtar Hussain informed about the newly established department. Senior Director Health Dr Salma Kausar was also present in the meeting.
The administrator said food quality control was previously a subsidiary of Health Department and was not fully operational and the citizens were complaining about food adulteration and low quality food. Henceforth, the new department would play its role in providing better quality food items to citizens.
He said the department’s checking teams would comprise of deputy director and food inspectors and they would carry out raids in all areas of city. Initially, the teams would check the quality of basic utility items like cooking oil, mineral water, spices, sweets and other items sold in hotels and restaurants.
He said checking would be done from common grocery shops to multi-national companies and also from food chains to restaurants in the city, though, it was a difficult task but it has begun in and would continue.
“We need cooperation and support from private sector as well as consumer organizations and common citizens. Karachi is mini Pakistan and it was our duty to take care of the health of our citizens. He said joint survey teams would be formed comprising the representatives of Pakistan Consumer Federation and officers of KMC which would carry out surprised raids along with the city wardens and local police and in this way defeat the food adulteration mafia,” said Farooqui.