After 113 food outlets in Mumbai were issued stop-business notices in October, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has filed 22 cases for adjudication against food service mobile applications and portals Zomato and Swiggy. The cases are slated to come up for hearing this month before a quasi-judicial body set up by the FDA.
“The hearing in these cases will commence soon. These outlets were found working without licence and the food portals were delivering their food to consumers without ensuring that the outlets had licence to cook,” said Shailesh Aadhav, joint commissioner (food), Mumbai.
Between September and October this year, food inspectors visited 347 outlets in Mumbai that deliver food through the online aggregators. Of them, 113 were found violating various norms under the Food Safety and Standards Act (FSSA), including working without a licence, or unhygienic cooking condition.
While all 113 outlets were given immediate stop-business notices under Section 14 of the FSSA, the FDA also issued notices to the portals that provided a platform for these outlets to deliver food. At least 85 outlets were attached to Swiggy, 50 were with Zomato, three with Foodpanda and two with Uber Eats.
Subsequently, 22 cases of adjudication have been filed against Zomato and Swiggy. “Both were found delivering food from unlicensed outlets. They de-listed several outlets following our notice,” Aadhav said.
According to the Assistant Commissioner (food), Mangesh Mane, 82 outlets sought to register for licence after receiving the notices. “In some cases, the outlets had not produced a licence on the day of inspection and later submitted them to us,” he said.