Quality concerns: Assistant Food Controller N. Purnachandra Rao inspecting the kitchen of the hotel on Tuesday.
It will be opened after a review by food safety officials
A vegetarian restaurant in the city’s popular business hotel has been closed temporarily by the food safety authorities on Tuesday after an MLA having breakfast found live worm in his plate.
Nellore district’s Udayagiri constituency MLA Bollineni Venkata Ramarao (TDP), who had stayed in the Minerva Grand hotel along with another TDP leader, ordered ‘idly’ and ‘poori’ at the ‘Minerva Coffee Shop.’
While eating ‘poori’, Mr. Ramarao found a live worm in the plate and complained to the staff. With no quick response from them, the MLA complained to the district authorities and food safety authorities on the phone and left for the airport.
Food safety officials led by Assistant Food Controller N. Purnachandra Rao visited the hotel and inspected the MLA’s food plate and confirmed that the worm has come along with the banana leaf in the plate. “If the worm was in the curry or poori it won’t be alive. But it is clear that there was negligence of the hotel staff that used unclean banana leaves which is not acceptable,” Mr. Rao said.
Later, following the Collector’s orders, officials also inspected the kitchen of the restaurant, storeroom, hygiene of the staff and sanitation. “In the kitchen, we found cooked food like carrot halwa, gulab jamun and other sweets preserved in the refrigerator. The hotel was also not ensuring hygiene of the staff. They did not wear any gloves, aprons or caps. Samples of the poori, curry, wheat flour and others were collected and sent for laboratory tests. We have served improvement notice and will proceed with criminal action according to FSS Act,” he said.
“After a couple of days, we would review the restaurant again and pass further orders. Licence cancellation notice would also be served,” Mr. Rao added.
Calling the incident as unfortunate, restaurant manager M. Srinivas said that it took place at around 8.30 a.m. in his absence.
“I was informed about the issue when it was taken to the notice of the government officials. The MLA has directly reported the finding to officials. The worm was out of the banana leaf placed in the plate. We use banana leaves instead of plates,” Mr. Srinivas told The Hindu.
When asked if the response was quick because the complainant was an MLA, Mr. Purnachandra Rao said that they would respond in the same manner when anyone lodged a complaint. He, however, said that the department was short of staff.
“People can call me up at 9440379755 if they come across such situation,” he said. The MLA, who left the city in the morning, was unavailable for comment.