Officials need magisterial power to improve quality of food

KARACHI: Giving officials magisterial powers for on the spot fines and sealing eateries, food centres or hotels, the quality of food will become better in the city, said a higher official in Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) Food Quality Control Department on Wednesday.

“Punjab Food Authority and KMC Food Quality Department have a big difference in terms of powers of officials. We can only register a case against unhygienic food sellers then the court fines charge, which is usually between Rs1000 and Rs2000 and there is no surety that how long the case would linger on,” he said.

He said the citizens are unfortunately ignorant most of the time about the importance of food quality. They would not register complaint against non-standard food despite they are informed about complaint centre numbers repeatedly through different media. Commissioner Karachi Complaint Cell could be contacted in this regard on 021-99203443, he added.

“The city administration has magisterial power to lock up or fine somebody involved in food adulteration and profiteering and not against somebody involved in selling unhygienic food,” the official said.

Senior Director Food Quality Control Mukhtar Hussain said there were fourteen food inspectors in the department for whole the city. Each of them has to collect 50 samples a month and sometimes they raid along with commissioner Karachi, additional commissioner, assistant commissioner or deputy commissioner.

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