On Wednesday, officials from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) took action against three branches of the renowned South Mumbai restaurant, Bademiya. They issued cease-and-desist orders to these outlets as they were discovered to be operating without the necessary licenses. As part of an ongoing crackdown, the FDA has already shuttered 28 eateries in Mumbai and Thane for failing to meet essential hygiene and safety requirements. This proactive enforcement effort is anticipated to continue for another month, potentially affecting additional restaurants.
A group of food safety officers conducted a surprise inspection at the Bademiya establishments, situated behind the Taj Palace Hotel near Gateway and Horniman Circle. They reportedly discovered that the outlets were serving food without the necessary licenses and were also in breach of various safety and hygiene regulations. Additionally, the inspection team observed the presence of cockroaches and rats within the restaurant premises. Surprisingly, despite receiving the notice, the restaurant remained open until late on Wednesday.
Shailesh Adhao, the FDA joint commissioner, has confirmed that the Bademiya outlets must remain closed until they adhere to the necessary regulations, and a fresh round of inspections is conducted. The iconic Bademiya, which has been delighting customers with its kebabs and rolls for 76 years, boasts an annual turnover exceeding one crore. The recent discovery of a rat in a meal served at Papa Pancho da Dhaba triggered a comprehensive inspection campaign across restaurants in both the city and the state since August. In addition to Papa Pancho da Dhaba, Mumbai Darbar located in Mahim and a chain of cloud kitchens operated by Hyperkitchen Foodtech Pvt. Ltd in Govandi have been instructed to cease operations due to non-compliance with regulations.
In Thane, a total of 25 eateries have received cease-and-desist orders, as confirmed by the department. Meanwhile, in Mumbai, nearly 70 restaurants underwent inspections, and a comprehensive survey was conducted at a total of 85 establishments in Thane. Adhao noted that a significant number of these eateries were found to be operating without the required licenses.
Additionally, a majority of these establishments were found to have multiple violations, ranging from the absence of water testing reports and medical records for their staff to lacking essential hygiene compliance measures. None of these eateries will be permitted to resume operations until they have rectified these compliance issues and undergone a new round of inspections.
Suresh Deshmukh, the joint commissioner of the Konkan division, explained that instead of issuing show cause notices, they opted to close down these establishments. This decision was made to safeguard public health, as dining at many of these places would have posed a significant risk to the public.
“There are seven to eight core compliances that we look for, which mainly include hygiene, mandatory water tests, medical reports, pest control, etc. Majority of violations are in these areas,” he said.
In the meantime, an FDA official mentioned that they are currently awaiting the test results for food samples gathered from Papa Pancho da Dhaba. One batch of these samples is undergoing examination at the BMC-run laboratory in Dadar, while another set is being assessed at the FDA’s own laboratory located in BKC.