Sat, May 05, 2018 - Page 6 News List

Outrage after toilet water used for tea on a train in India

FOOD SAFETY:The tea incident came on the back of police unearthing a racket in which rotten meat from dumps was being sold to restaurants in Kolkata

AFP, KOLKATA, India

An Indian tea vendor caught on video taking water from a train toilet before selling his drinks to passengers has been fined amid heightened concern over food safety.

The vendor on the Chennai-Hyderabad Express was caught after footage of him and two others coming out of a toilet with large cans used to serve tea and coffee on Indian trains was widely shared.

Indian Railways said in a statement that the “incident has been inquired into in detail” and that the tea seller had been fined the equivalent of US$1,500.

The video was made on a train at Secunderabad in Telangana state.

Out of the three vendors seen only one was licensed.

The vendor claimed the group were transferring milk from one can to another and did not want to do it in the open.

“The very fact that tea/coffee cans were seen being brought out of the toilet is in itself a wrong practice,” the railway company said.

A series of incidents have put the spotlight on food safety in India.

In the eastern city of Kolkata, famed for its Bengal delicacies, police this week unearthed a racket in which tonnes of rotten meat from dumps was being sold to restaurants.

Sales of meat and poultry in the city have plummeted since authorities seized about 20 tonnes of rotten meat.

Police suspect a lot more had been sent out to city restaurants.

“The meat was sourced from dump yards where vultures, dogs fight over carcasses in the fringes of the city,” West Bengal police officer Koteshwar Rao said.

Eight people have been arrested so far, but Kolkata restaurants and cafes have been left reeling from the scandal.

“The rumors have resulted in a 50 percent fall in demand [for meat] across restaurants and eateries,” Meat Merchants Association member Taher Ali said.

The Hotel and Restaurant Association of Eastern India has told its members to only purchase meat from registered suppliers.

Food poisoning is one of the most common disease outbreaks in India, accounting for 242 of 1,469 reported serious outbreaks last year.

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