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Appalling health standards in Bangalore hotels

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Public Health

It is a well known fact in all markets & mandis you will visit that the rotten vegetables they stack on the side are for hotels. 

...a working professional, does not eat out often. He has a good reason. He still shudders at the memory of falling seriously ill after grabbing a quick bite at a famous eatery in Jayanagar 4 Block.

...was shocked to see a cockroach traipsing over a sandwich kept at the display counter.“When I pointed it out to the manager, he removed the cockroach but kept the sandwich back. It was only when I insisted that he throw it that he grudgingly did so,” he said.

...mid-segment eateries routinely procure rotten vegetables and meat of poor quality at half the price, and marinate them in heavy spices to mask the taste. “Rice is also recycled. Rice made in the afternoon is washed thoroughly to separate the grains and is then turned into fried rice. Whatever is left over becomes curd rice

...meat is salvaged from the gravy and washed, and becomes kebabs the following day

read more here

 

Comments

idontspam's picture

Who is responsible?

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Response from the hotels association here

Clearly the Hotels Association have failed to protect their industry from a bad name. Why dont they weed out these bad apples themselves & show the world how self policing can work. They can set up a health star rating & tell public to eat from resturants which adhere to those standards. I am sure word will spread like wildfire if the health star rating is violated. That should be incentive enough to keep them honest. People should vote with their feet on such issues. 

If any of you have seen unhealthy resturants post the name & address here with incident details & a photograph. Let take it to BBMP & to the association & see if they do anything about it. It will be helpful to understand what is healthy as per BBMP & what is not. So if any of you have that data do post it here as well

sanjayv's picture

Whom to believe?

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It is a dysfunctional world we live in.  I had a conversation just this weekend with someone, who let us say, has had to interact with BBMP a lot.  He was discussing the bribes paid to the corporator and such similar issues.  In the midst of the conversation, he suddently said something along the lines of "all that these people want is a bribe.  Their health inspectors are some of the most vicious".

So, whom to trust? Hoteliers, BBMP? Current answer for me is no one!

 

idontspam's picture

Their health inspectors are

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Their health inspectors are some of the most vicious

Which is why I would rather have the hotel association take this into their hands & prevent such opportunitistic revelations. The hotels are not saints & it is precisely because of collusion with BBMP & their lassiez faire regime we have such scenarios.

What BBMP has revealed is not news at all, we are living with this crap because the BBMP has failed to discharge its function, but we cant absolve BBMP of their responsibilities regardless of how bad they are until they cease to exist. 

sanjayv's picture

Self governance

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Which is why I would rather have the hotel association take this into their hands & prevent such opportunitistic revelations

Self regulation is an ideal scenario.  But we do not see enough of it in India.  My take for the reason is that currently, the incentives do not exist for such a situation!

Let us try to analyze that.  I will use an example which is more familiar to me.  In the US and in fact even world wide, pressure vessels (containers that have contents at high pressures) and boilers have to conform to the ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) pressure vessel code, either formally or informally.  It costs you to get that formal stamp which then becomes revenue for ASME.  In fact, the boiler and pressure vessel code is a major source of revenue to the ASME.  How did it come about?  A history is summarized here.

There were several boiler explosions in the American state of Massachussetts in 1905. The state mandated rules based on the ASME standards at that time.  The standards have since evolved with the changes in technology.  Since ASME gets revenue, they have incentive to make sure the code is improved and up to date.  Serving on the code committee is prestigious.  So eminent engineers are willing to serve.  Today you have an industry employing lot of Mechanical Engineers, who make or use boilers or pressure vessels, that follows this code which is updated to keep up with the times. Systems have been devised to enforce the code and improved over time, and thanks to other incentives such as insurance and such factors, compliance is very good.

If this would not have been done, people would have ben scared of buying boilers.  There would have been many accidents and loss of life.

Come to our problem here.  What is the incentive for self regulation in the hotel/restaurant industry.  Now we know that many restaurants have dirty kitchens.  Would there be a long term business impact?  Somehow, in India, I doubt it (no data available though). If a restaurant had a clean kitchen, would they get more business? Naah, I doubt that also.  If they had a clean kitchen, would it make it easier to get a trade license or to avoid penalties? Naaah again, everything happens through bribe.  In fact, if your kitchen is cleaner, maybe the bribe demand will be more saying that these guys have a lot of money!

I submit that until the regulatory environment is cleaned up, no self governance happens.  The only other way something can happen is if there is a citizen's movement (or a journalist's movement) and a citizen's audit and publishing of cleanliness levels in the papers which leads to reduced foot falls and bad publicity.  Or we should se several deaths or extreme occurences due to food poisoning. In other words, there has to be a tangible impact.

This leads to a digression ... why is it that the IRC (Indian Roads Congress) is so bad at updating their standards?

 

idontspam's picture

IRC can update their

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IRC can update their standards as much as they want but they are never applied when the DPR is done. DPR generally has one generic cut paste cross drawing then skip to BOQ & costing. Who stops the work from being done because IRC was not applied? no one. All rules & regulations remain such until applied on ground.

sanjayv's picture

Exactly!

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IRC can update their standards as much as they want but they are never applied

Exactly my point.  No incentive to update standards because of a dysfunctional system.  We need many people questioning standards and methods.  When living in the US, I used to think that the whole country was very paranoid and reactionary. Terrorist attack - my god the whole world is after us. You have cold? Stay away from me man.  Don;t give me them bugs.

India is the polar opposite. 100 people dead?  There will be more where they came from.  Fall into a man whole and get paralyzed? That is how it has been for a 100 years. What's new?  Drain pipe located at the highest point of the bathroom? Oh, can't expect better. Quality of labour you know.

We need some outrage and some standards and less fatalism.

dvsquare's picture

There is just one Food inspector from BBMP

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For this big bangalore city, there is just one Food Inspector and is responsible so many people.

I don't understand why BBMP is not able to hire required food inspector and other officers for the job, many posts remain vacant for so long.

abidpqa's picture

Good examples

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Recently I read this, example from India itself  http://www.timescrest.com...

There is also Food Safety and Standards Authority of India http://www.fssai.gov.in/d...

Regarding the discussion on pressure vessels, the BIS mark on the pressure cookers are for pressure vessels

idontspam's picture

HC stays food safety act

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 Karnataka High Court today stayed for three months operations of certain sections of Food Safety and Standards Act 2006 and also some regulations of the Food Safety and Standards (licencing and registration of food business) Regulations 2011

details

murali772's picture

cure that's worse than the disease

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Inspector-raaj is like the cure that's far worse than the disease. A variation of the "raaj-less inspection" described here may provide the answer.

Muralidhar Rao
murali772's picture

government posturings

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The staying of the newly added provisions of the Act stands very much to reason. Just a cursory reading will tell you how unreasonable they are.

The governments like to put on a posture of being tough, without going into the merits and practicalities, the only beneficiaries of the process being the inspectors. What the governments need to realise is that they owe it to the businesses to provide the right kind of climate to grow, so that the economy in turn grows too. These posturings are only helping to stifle businesses, and in turn the economy.

Unhygenic and unethical practices will sooner than later show up in the quality of the products, and thereby in the performance of a business. And, that's the best check possible on an establishment.

Muralidhar Rao
murali772's picture

Koshy’s unhygenic?

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On Tuesday afternoon, the BBMP Health Committee Chairman had visited Koshy’s for lunch and on finding the place dingy, the range officer was called in for immediate inspection, a senior BBMP official said.

For the full report in the New Indian Express, click here.

More likely that the attending waiter didn't know that he was not supposed to raise a bill on the official, and the official felt insulted about it.

Muralidhar Rao
rs's picture

I dont know what the reality

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I dont know what the reality is but it doesnt surprise me that Koshy's has unhealty standards. Their toilets and hand washing area was not the cleanest when I last visited - which was a few years ago. I stopped going there when they jacked up their prices to some ridiculous level for the alcohol and food - and their food is truly awful. I like their `railway waiting room' charm but its not consistent with their prices.

It doesnt surprise me in the least that several restaurants have been raided for hygiene. Another popular spectacularly filthy place is the  India  Coffee Board. The only place was remarkable dirty - for all its charm - and the toilets there were unbelievably bad. The new place has quicky regained the same level of filth. In fact the  whole India Coffee Board is a prime example of how badly things can be managed. They had prime locations in many cities and had a certain style - with their waiters weaing the turbans and all that - but the hygiene standards of the waiters - dirty uniforms - and restaurant - general cleanliness and unbelievable bad toilets - and eventually very poor quality food - have caused them to collapse. I have never seen the kitchens but given the conditions of the public areas one can only imagine how filthy the not for public areas are. 

 

 

 

 

abidpqa's picture

Whether Koshy's in unhygenic

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Whether Koshy's in unhygenic or not, Will all other hotels that have same standard as Koshy's be fined? A question of fairness. If they do that, it will be so safe to have food outside! Finding a cockroach is not sufficient. Report does not say whether food is contaminated or rotten which needs confirmation from lab.

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