Hotel body calls for lab test

Calcutta: The Hotel and Restaurant Association of Eastern India has advised its members to get their meat and poultry checked by a Gurgaon laboratory in view of the rotten meat scam.

The association, which has more than 1,000 members, has identified Interlek India Pvt Ltd, accredited by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India, for the tests.

The tests will include species identification, along with pathogenic and non-pathogenic micro-organisms.

The tests are voluntary and hotels and restaurants have to bear the cost. But the association feels if the test results are displayed, it will generate confidence in customers about the quality of food.

The test would cost around Rs 19,700 for every sample (2x500 gm).

The advisory comes at a time when people worried about the quality of meat being served at hotels and restaurants in the city have switched to other alternatives.

"There has been a 30-35 per cent decline in sales (of meat and poultry dishes) after the rotten meat scam broke in April-end," Sudesh Poddar, president, Hotel and Restaurant Association of Eastern India, said. "Although the footfall has remained unchanged, there's demand for fish, prawn and vegetable dishes."

The revenue impact on hotels and restaurants have been marginal and the situation is expected to improve this week, Poddar said. "It is important that the consumers feel confident while placing orders and it would help if the test results are displayed prominently."

Hotels and restaurants in the city are already sourcing meat and poultry from prominent suppliers, but the association issued an advisory last week asking members to buy raw stock from reputed vendors with FSSAI licence and corporation trade licence. Preference should be given to suppliers with ISO 9001 and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point certifications.


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