Fresh hygiene checks on Subhiksha warehouses in Mumbai

July 26th, 2008 - 9:56 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, July 26 (IANS) The Maharashtra Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) will carry out fresh checks at the warehouses here of the Subhiksha discount retail chain following complaints that it was allegedly flouting hygiene regulations. Minister of State for FDA Baba Siddiqui informed the legislative council that the FDA commissioner would be issued instructions to recheck the store’s warehouses.

The minister was responding to directions from council deputy chairman Vasant Davkhare to recheck the hygiene conditions in Subhiksha warehouses and to cancel its license if the norms had been violated.

Opposition leader in the council Pandurang Phundkar, who raised the issue, said Subhiksha was repacking food items although it did not have a licence for this.

Siddiqui said the FDA had earlier temporarily cancelled the store’s licence on two separate occasions - from March 1-10 and June 23-27 - for not complying with hygiene regulations in the food packaging area within its warehouses.

In its report, the FDA said its team had found foodstuffs lying on the floor amid dirt, dust and spit, which posed a serious public health hazard. Citing the FDA report, Phundkar demanded that the state government must cancel Subhiksha’s licence.

Despite repeated attempts by IANS, Subhiksha officials in Chennai were not available for comment.

Subhiksha, which started as a single store entity in Chennai 11 years ago, now has over 1,000 outlets in 90 cities spread in nine states, making it one of the biggest retail supermarkets in India.

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