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Beware! Over 81% juice stalls fail food safety test

Wednesday, May 08, 2019
By Prachi Sonawane

The BMC inspected several juice stalls across the city, including the ones at major railway stations like Dadar, Churchgate, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT), Kurla, and Mumbai Central among others.

Next time you are at your nearest juice centre, be aware of the hygiene at the place! Around 486 samples of juice and 300 samples of ice across the city have failed the 'Food Safety and Hygiene' test. This was revealed from the report on the samples collected by the Health Department of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) after the viral video of unhygienic preparation of lemon juice at Kurla station in March.    

The BMC inspected several juice stalls across the city, including the ones at major railway stations like Dadar, Churchgate, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT), Kurla, and Mumbai Central among others. Last month, BMC had inspected a total of 1,183 stalls (280 selling lemon juice and 303 sugarcane juice stalls) and collected 385 ice samples.

However, the BMC health department has revealed that out of the collected samples from juice stalls, around 486 juice samples and 300 ice samples were found to be unfit for human consumption. In the advent of summer when people drink more juices at public places, the BMC has stepped in and is taking extra precautions by checking juice stalls especially at big stations like Dadar, CSMT, Kurla and Mumbai Central.

“Consumption of such contaminated juices and ice can land people in hospitals. When the lemons are squeezed manually without maintaining proper hygiene standards, there are high chances of contamination. Improper handling of fruit juices and soft drinks enable the growth of fungi and molds in them,” said Dr. Padmaja Keskar, Executive Director of the BMC's Health Department. She cautioned consumers to practice caution while consuming road-side food.

However, last month, the civic body also inspected 195 other stalls violating hygiene and safety norms and had collected 191 food samples from them, of which, only 43 were found fit for consumption.

Following a visual inspection of the stalls, the inspecting officials choose their samples based on the visual appearance of an eatery's hygiene standards. Also, BMC had destroyed 15,645 kgs of ice, around 3,838 kg of fruits not fit for consumption and around 10,000 liters of juice including sugarcane juice after they were found to be adulterated.

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