Since the last couple of months, PFA (Punjab Food Authority) has been going around the city of Lahore warning, heavily fining and completely sealing restaurants or any establishments dealing with food that they find not full filing the standards of hygiene.
From the high-end and expensive restaurants to the low-end and small food start-ups, they are seizing them all. However, PFA claims that it would create awareness about not only how their food is being served but also through what process their food go through at restaurants, the hygiene and cleanliness (or lack thereof) at their favourite restaurants and cafes (even factories).
Eating out is a vital part of a Lahori lifestyle, and a recreation from Lahori people. Lahoris love food and they do not shy away to admit it, but the poor hygienic conditions at restaurants (and the initiative of Punjab Food Authority of bringing it out for the people to see) have made people worried, and limited this ‘’recreation.’’ In the result of raids, food industries are suffering, leaving Lahore’s restaurant owners to threaten and protest against the Punjab Food Authority.
Recently, the director of Punjab Food Authority, Ayesha Mumtaaz inspected one of Lahore’s most-loved-by-people, Royal Palm, Golf and Country Club and sealed it, due to the extreme unhygienic conditions and poor drainage systems. PFA also seized huge quantity of rotten vegetables and meat (placed on the floor).
Extremely Poor Sanitary Conditions
Meat & Ice on floor
While these crackdowns & raids highlighted how horrendous is the state of hygiene at most of the city’s eateries, PFA also provided the clientèle and the customers with the chance to report any establishment that people find unhygienic, or that not following the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) or are working in contaminated conditions.
PFA also developed a website, named PFA Status that lists all the eateries that PFA raided. It also mentions that what actions Punjab Food Authority has taken against that particular restaurant, i.e. whether it has been cleared, fined, or sealed. Acc. to APP, PFA has conducted over 6,000 raids so far and has issued the improvement notices to around 3,000 food factories and eateries.