Food quality and safety in Delhi always receive attention. Probably this is where the country's ruling elite live. Besides the much heralded FSAAI is also situated in Delhi to give a helping hand to policies and programs for ensuring safe foods are provided at the restaurants when ministers and bureaucrats visit these places. The pitch for tightening implementation of food laws was very high during the just concluded Common Wealth Games (or Shames?), the justification being not to allow any "foreign" visitors become sick during this period. Interestingly one of the private players seems to have jumped into the "safety" fray and made a grand announcement that they would be launching a mobile lab for food testing so that Delhi citizens can sleep peacefully!
"As part of the Safe Food Destination (SFD) being run by the agency during the Commonwealth Games, a mobile testing van will go to eating places in areas like Khan Market, Dilli Haat, Chandni Chowk and Karol Bagh to check quality of food being served. "The mobile laboratory is a unique concept wherein various tests evaluating the quality of food and the attributes affecting food safety are conducted in an effective and time efficient manner," an official of TQS Global Management System said. N.L.B. Pantulu, vice president (Operations) of TQS Global said: "The lab will conduct tests to check adulteration in dairy products. It is also equipped to conduct antibiotic residue tests, pesticide residue test, alergen monitoring tests, water tests and a few microbiological tests."
It is not clear as to who have given them this "task" and even if they have official "blessings", why should any hotelier agree for testing his food samples; even if the sample does not confirm to standards, what next? While the attempt by this private agency is laudable, this is a typical case of putting "the cart before the horse" because no proper planning has gone into this venture before announcing its launch. If this facility is only for guidance of the owners of the eateries, it is understandable but whether they will be able to pay for the service is another question. If it is for consumer guidance, could it be a charitable activity? If there is a compulsion or fear of retribution, the hoteliers may find the need for such a service. But with no such compulsions, why should they spend their resources for quality checking? As nothing much is heard about the program since the announcement, it is presumed that the organizers were not able to get sufficient response to their much publicized novel service.