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March 30th, 2012
Housefly found in Pizza Hut food – staff in query

A Delhi court has refused to discharge an employee of an international food chain who allegedly sold a ‘Veggi Crunch’ pizza containing a dead housefly.

Additional Sessions Judge Neena Bansal Krishna dismissed the revision petition filed by Sandeep Kumar, who was working at Pizza Hut’s Dwarka outlet, seeking discharge in the case.

“The presence of a dead housefly in the food item would prime make the food unfit for human consumption as has been provided under the provisions of the PFA Act. Prima facie the sample of ‘Veggi Crunch Pizza’ lifted from restaurant (Pizza Hut) of the petitioner (Kumar) is shown to be adulterated,” the judge said.

According to the prosecution, the inspector of department of Prevention of Food Adulteration (PFA) had gone to the Pizza Hut’s Dwarka outlet on April 21, 2010 and took a sample of its ‘Veggi Crunch Pizza’. When the sample was taken, Kumar was found vending the food article to customers, it said.

PFA Inspector Bijendra Pal Saroha found a dead insect in the pizza and sent the sample to public analyst, who gave the report that the sample was adulterated because it contained one dead housefly.

Under the provisions of the PFA Act, Kumar had sought to get the sample examined for the second time and it was sent to Central Food Laboratories (CFL) for analysis, which had given its report that the test could not be performed as the sample was having fungal growth.

Kumar sought his discharge in the case on the ground that the food item was not intended for sale but had only been placed on the counter for the purpose of display.

Kumar also argued that the report of CFL takes precedence over the report of public analyst and in view of the fact that the sample got decayed, he was entitled to be discharged.

The case is presently at the stage of recording of pre-charge evidence in the trial court.

Opposing Kumar’s plea, the prosecutor said that the arguments at this stage are pre-mature as charges are yet to be framed against the accused and his revision petition is liable to be dismissed as pre-mature.

The court rejected the contention of Kumar saying that no analysis was needed as the housefly was found during physical examination.

“The facts in the present case are peculiar in the sense that it was a sample of ‘Veggi Crunch Pizza’, in which only one housefly was found on physical examination. There was no analysis of the sample which was required to be done of this sample.”