Srinagar, Mar 02: Food Safety Department (FSD) has barred import and sale of dressed chicken till March 15 in view of the lack of refrigerated vans for transportation.
The Kashmir Monitor last week reported that tonnes of dressed chicken were imported to the Valley in thermocol boxes, against which FSD apprehended non-maintenance of hygiene in the absence of refrigerated vans.
Assistant Food Safety Officer, Hilal Ahmad Mir, told this newspaper that they have fixed March 15 as deadline for the procurement of refrigerated vans by the dealers.
“So, till March 15, no dressed chicken shall be sold or even imported to the Valley. This decision was taken after these dealers agreed to procure refrigerated vans within two weeks,” he said.
Mir said the department has also directed the dealers to set up their individual cold chains to prevent the chicken from turning unhygienic due to the rise in temperature.
“They will have to store the chicken under favourbale conditions, which is only possible when they set up their cold chain facilities,” he said.
Assistant FSD said that they would harden their stand against the violators including sealing of their outlets.
“Our teams would inspect the dealers regularly after the deadline. Those who are found violating the ruling would face closure of their outlets and legal action,” he said.
Mir earlier said his only apprehension towards dressed chicken was related to the hygiene, especially when the temperature rises.
“It takes these dealers enough time to transport the chicken from New Delhi to Srinagar. So, as temperature increases, there may be chances that it will be infected if it is not transported in refrigerated vans,” he said
Srinagar Wholesale Fish Dealers Association said that they would procure refrigerated vans, but demanded a specific market to ensure all these facilities.
The dealers said majority of their shops function in rented accommodations and require government allotted shops to set up their cold chains.