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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Tuesday, 25 June 2024 1.06 AM IST

Operation Appetite: Massive irregularities found in food safety offices

food-security

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Vigilance raids in the food safety commissioner and 67 food safety offices under the name of 'Operation Appetite' have uncovered massive irregularities. Officials collude by not charging food producers with fines and shielding them from prosecution. Instead of licenses, big businesses are given registration, which should actually be given to small businesses. The government is losing money through this. Records of these are also not kept. The free training provided by the government to small businesses is also provided to the workers of big companies.

The office attendant at the Thodupuzha Food Safety Circle Office accepts payments from hotel and resort owners through Google Pay. The recall of unsafe products is being delayed, allowing them to be sold. Daily fines are not collected from non-filers of returns. A fine of Rs 17,18,600 has to be paid in the Thiruvananthapuram district office alone. Employees of more than 10,000 organizations have not been provided with the mandatory FOSTAC training.

Complaints are not decided in most offices. The office was closed when the vigilance reached Ranni. Hotels were found operating without licenses and with expired licenses in many places. The samples were kept in a damaged refrigerator in the Ernakulam Assistant Commissioner's office. Files in which ratings were given were missing in Pathanamthitta. The results of 516 samples were not made available in Palakkad. Food samples are not collected under quota in most places. Vigilance Director TK Vinod Kumar said that a detailed report on the irregularities will be submitted to the government. The investigation was led by Vigilance IG in charge Regi Jacob and DySP Vinod C.

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