Dehradun: Food aggregators Swiggy and Zomato in Haridwar have been issued notices by the food safety section of Uttarakhand health department for delivering non-vegetarian food in restricted areas of the holy city.
Haridwar’s deputy food safety officer RS Pal said both Swiggy and Zomato had violated the municipal norms by delivering non-vegetarian food in the city. Reportedly, the bylaws of Haridwar municipal corporation prohibit the sale of non-vegetarian food items and meat products within city limits, including Jawalapur, Har-ki-Pauri, Kankhal, Kharkhari, Motichur and Haripur areas.
Pal added that the incident only came to light after local residents complained about the same to the city magistrate.
Pal said, “Local residents had complained to city magistrate Jagdish Lal recently. Following which, we were asked to investigate the matter. The two companies failed to show the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India
(FSSAI) licence to the teams that had gone to inspect their offices. The firms also had not obtained no-objection certificates from the municipal corporation to deliver non-veg products.”
Stating that both the Swiggy and Zomato’s act has hurt the sentiments of the locals, Pal added that the food aggregators have been given seven days to present their case.
Following the incident, both Swiggy and Zomato replied individually. While Zomato said they were working with the FSSAI to ensure that such complaints do not crop up, Swiggy apologised but added that it has a central FSSAI licence and only lists FSSAI registered restaurants on the platform.
Zomato replied in an email saying, “We have been working with FSSAI over the past year to ensure that there are no complaints. We have already applied for a licence for our operations in Haridwar. We respect the religious sentiments of the holy city and will oblige with the directives set by the authorities.”
Meanwhile, a Swiggy spokesperson said, “We deeply regret the lapse in delivering non-veg food in the restricted area. We have addressed the issue and would like to reiterate that as of March 16, Swiggy is delivering only vegetarian food in Haridwar.”