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Raid in Agartala food shop reveals shocking findings

After a major violation of food safety norms was found, Agartala's renowned Cake Plaza bakery was shuttered following a raid by the Food Department on Monday 

Recovery of expired, contaminated and spurious food items and other items from this shop which is frequented by VIPs and common people – mostly youngsters alike triggered huge resentment in the city. 

A joint operation was initiated by the Food Department, Legal Metrology and Food Safety Department of Sadar sub-division under the directive of Nirmal Adhikari, the Director of Food, Civil Supplies, and Consumer Affairs on Monday. 

The operation revealed expired and contaminated food items, including cakes with visible fungus.

The raid was a response to a viral social media complaint from a customer who reported finding fungus in her purchase. 

The inspection team which included SDC, Sadar Pradip Kumar Bhowmik, Food Inspector Debajyoti Chakraborty, Sharmishtha Das, Nibedita Chowdhury, Legal Metrology Inspector Souvik Bardhan Roy, Food Safety Officer and other officials, was appalled to discover the use of dangerously expired food colors and underweight bread loaves at the establishment.

When the raiding officers reached the bakery, they were shocked to find that a popular bakery like Cake Plaza was using colours, used to prepare the cakes, expired long ago.

“The colours expired around one to one-and-half years ago. Such expired chemicals are poisonous and likely to create health problems”, Pradip Kumar Bhowmik said.

The owner's failure to provide satisfactory explanations led to the immediate closure of Cake Plaza, pending further investigation. Additional inspections at Balaji Veg Sweets & Cakes and a bakery manufacturing unit at Gol Chakkar also resulted in temporary shutdowns due to similar infractions, including the absence of manufacturing and expiration dates on products, unhygienic conditions, and the use of expired ingredients.

The community has expressed outrage over the findings, with frequent patrons, particularly the youth, and concerned parents calling for stringent action against the violations. 

The Food Department has assured that a comprehensive report will be submitted to higher authorities, emphasizing the seriousness of the offenses and the commitment to public health standards.

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