The special ‘Operation Hot Water’ drive launched by the Ernakulam district panchayat and the health department against eateries and other food outlets has angered the Kerala Hotel and Restaurant Association (KHRA) which feels they are overstepping their duties.
KHRA state general secretary , Jose Mohan warned the association would strongly protest the closure of hotels by the civic authorities and the health department, adding, “They have no legal right to inspect the quality of food served take samples or seize stale food. They can only check the general hygiene of eateries. Going by the provisions of the Food Safety Act, only a qualified food analyst can collect food samples.”
District panchayat president Eldhose Kunnappally, however justified the drive, saying that Operation Hot Water was essential to curb the possible outbreak of water-borne diseases. “Though the Food Safety Authority alone has the right to check the quality of food served, civic bodies can inspect the sanitation in eateries. … During the raid we found many hotels and bars e functioning in very poor hygiene conditions.”