Hi-tech park but stale food
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Have techies been reduced to the role of guinea pigs by the eateries? If reports coming in from Technopark and the incident which occurred at the Infopark in Kochi are any indications then it can be said, “Yes, they are”. Three days ago, techies at the Infopark were shocked to find a millipede in a snack served by a cafeteria attached to one of the blocks in the park.
The situation is not so different at Technopark! For years, the techies have been complaining about the poor quality of food and also the unhygienic conditions in which they are being prepared at the several cafeterias inside the campus.
Techies point out that several cafeterias have been serving stale food even after being served notices by the Food and Safety Department threatening closure if conditions aren’t improved. At present, 22 cafeterias are functioning inside the park at various blocks. Apart from branded food outlets, several cafeterias serve local cuisine to attract Kerala-based techies. In fact, it is these cafeterias which are in the news for all the wrong reasons. Two weeks back the Food and Safety Department raided the cafeterias inside the park after receiving large number of complaints from techies. Food and Safety officials issued warning and penalised many of these restaurants for serving stale food and that too in unhygienic conditions. They also slapped closure notice on a restaurant functioning in Bhavani building.
Techies said that they have been at the receiving end for years. Though Technopark exudes glamour, the condition of the eateries inside the campus will put off people from food for a long time. “For how long should we suffer unhygienic food ?” a techie asked.
On August 4, a group of techies spent a harrowing night after having food from one of the restaurants functioning on the ground floor of Nila building. A software developer who didn’t wish to disclose his identity told ‘T’Puram Express’ that he was served ‘tomato rice’ which was two-days-old and spent half of his day puking. When they complained to the owner, he tried to return their money. “We don’t want the money back. What we want is hygienic food. Our’s is not an isolated incident. Others too have been complaining about the poor quality of food here,” a Senior operations manager with a multi-national company said.The records with the nearby hospitals indicate that there has been a rise in food poisoning cases from Technopark. Sources said that the hospital authorities cited a case wherein the chef of a restaurant came to them seeking treatment for allergic eruptions on his hands.
When contacted, A Satheesh Kumar, Assistant Commissioner, Thiruvananthapuram in-charge, Food and Safety department, said that strict action has been taken against such restaurants inside the park. He also added that this is the third incident being reported from the park.“We have formed two special squads to keep a check on the food inside the park. Two weeks ago, we raid all the cafeterias and found that eight to nine restaurants have been serving stale food and that too in an unhygienic environment. This is a serious issue. We have penalised some restaurants functioning at Nila and Bhavani buildings. We have also issued a closure notice to one working at Bhavani building. They were also directed to replace all the unhygienic plates and bowls. However, the raids don’t end here. It will be continued in the coming days. The restaurants outside the park will be also under our surveillance,” Satheesh said.