Panaji: Goa health department on Saturday issued deadline for all the high-value restaurants in the coastal belt to apply for Food and Drugs Administration licence within 30 days, or face the shut down.
State Health Minister Vishwajit Rane said that the action against the restaurants in the coastal belt is a part of pan-Goa drive against food adulteration and usage of carcinogenic chemicals in fruits and vegetables.
The department has also decided to write to the five star and other hotels to inform to them about source where fruits and vegetables are procured by them, Rane said.
“All restaurants, high value restaurants operating in tourism belt without FDA permission would be shut down. It’s my warning them to please come and get the licence within 30 days,” the minister said.
“After 30 days we are going to crack down on these restaurants which has no permissions,” he said.
The minister said that while government has made it mandatory for small cart owners to have FDA licences, those people who invest crores of rupees and set up restaurants are operating without such licences.
The FDA, which is a part of health department, has began extensive raids in the state against the traders to check usage of chemicals in fruits and vegetables.
“We have been aggressive through FDA against the artificial ripening of fruits because of rising cases of cancer in Goa. FDA has given direction its officials to take a very pro-active stand and without any kind of interference act,” he said.
Rane said that the raids were conducted in Panaji market on Saturday in association with Corporation of City of Panaji.
“I am grateful to the Mayor of Panaji Uday Madkaikar who has supported us along with his team. We are carrying raids in Panaji market and also all over Goa,” he said.
The minister said that as a part of pro-active steps, the five star hotels and other hotels will be asked to show the source of procurement of fruits and vegetables.
“We will be carrying out random tests on the fruits and vegetables procured by these hotels. We will do this in consultation with the tourism bodies, so that it does not become hindrance to the tourism industry,” the minister said.
“It is necessary for us to take such pro-active steps. Today lakhs of rupees of Banana and apples have been destroyed due to utilization of Calcium Carbide and other chemicals in the food,” Rane said.
We are also checking Brinjol which is dipped in carcinogenic chemical in order to maintain gloss on it.
The minister said that FDA would be upgrading its labouratory near Panaji so that the results on the samples can be received immediately.
“We can immediately check what is the chemical that has been used,” he said.
Rane said the traders in the state are using different types of plant growth promoters in artificial ripening which don’t have licences for sale in Goa.