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Shoppers spot roaches at Pune supermarket's tandoor counter

Roger Guarda and his wife, Mysline both quite hungry, so when they spotted a tandoor counter in the supermarket, they made a beeline for it. But their appetites vanished as soon as they spotted cockroaches lurking around the tandoori chicken

The Diwali sales were on, and Roger Guarda (27) and his wife, Mysline (25) had been shopping for hours at a city mall near Magarpatta City, hopping from one shop to another, finally deciding to pick up some groceries at Star Bazaar. By then they were both quite hungry, so when they spotted a tandoor counter in the supermarket, they made a beeline for it. But their appetites vanished as soon as they spotted cockroaches lurking around the tandoori chicken.

Spotted cockroaches lurking around the food at the tandoor counter
Bugs on the menu? Roger Guarda spotted cockroaches lurking around the food at the tandoor counter and shot a video

Far from dealing with the matter on the spot, the supermarket officials requested that Roger and his wife not “make a scene” about it. The couple was told that officials would respond to their complaint later. But when more than a week had passed without any response, Roger, a finance head at a multinational company in the city, filed an online complaint with the FDA on Wednesday.

Roger Guarda
Roger Guarda

“On October 25, we had visited the Seasons Mall, where my wife insisted that we purchase monthly grocery items from Star Bazaar. We went to the store and purchased the items. We were hungry, and went to the tandoor counter to have some chicken, but I was shocked to see cockroaches roaming on the food,” said Roger, who immediately pointed the bugs out to the staff, who put the tray aside.

“I immediately alerted the counter in-charge and asked him whether the cockroach was complimentary with the chicken. He took out the tray and kept it aside, but I was worried that he would serve the same pieces to other customers. So, I took up the issue with the store manager, who asked me not to make a scene at the store, as it would dent their image. He assured me that they would soon respond to my complaint in this regard. I waited for a week but did not get any response,” Roger added.

‘Rude response’
He went to the store yet again, to ask what action had been taken in the case. “The staff claimed that they had carried out pest control at the store, due to which some cockroaches might have come out.
When I insisted on action being taken against the concerned staffers, the manager rudely replied ‘you can do whatever you want to do’,” Roger recalled.

When Roger filed the complaint with the FDA, he also sent a video of the entire incident, showing the roaches on the food in the counter (mid-day has this video). He immediately received a reply from the organisation with assurances that they would probe the matter.

Officialspeak
FDA’s Joint Commissioner (Food) Shashikant Kekare said, “I have received the online complaint along with the video against Star Bazaar. We will soon act on the complaint and carry out inspection at the counter. A case can be registered under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 against the concerned persons.”

The Other Side
“The video cannot be validated, therefore we cannot comment. However, we will investigate the matter internally. We would like to inform you that we follow stringent hygiene and quality processes across our stores,” said an official spokesperson of Star Bazaar.

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