Food aggregator apps Swiggy and Zomato have landed in trouble with notices from Uttarakhand's health department for serving non-vegetarian food in certain restricted areas in Haridwar.
"Local residents had complained to city magistrate Jagdish Lal recently. Following which, we were asked to investigate the matter. The two companies failed to show Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) licence to the teams that had gone to inspect their offices. The firms also had not obtained no-objection certificates from the municipal corporation to deliver non-veg products," RS Pal, the deputy food safety officer in Hardiwar, was quoted as saying by Times of India.
He went on to say that the by-laws in the holy city do not allow the sale of non-vegetarian food, including meat and meat products, within the city limits. This also goes to areas such as Kharkari, Har-ki-Pauri, Kankhal, Jawalpuri, Motichur and Haripur areas of the city.
Both Zomato and Swiggy have issued statements regarding the issue. They apologised for hurting the religious sentiments and said that the incident would not happen again.
According to the TOI report, the Zomato statement read, "We have been working with FSSAI over the past year to ensure that there are no complaints. We have already applied for a licence for our operations in Haridwar. We respect the religious sentiments of the holy city and will oblige with the directives set by the authorities."
"We deeply regret the lapse in delivering non-veg food in the restricted area. We have addressed the issue and would like to reiterate that as of March 16, Swiggy is delivering only vegetarian food in Haridwar," a Swiggy spokesperson said.
"Swiggy has a central FSSAI licence and only lists FSSAI registered restaurants on the platform," it added.
Swiggy to provide healthcare plans for delivery partners
Swiggy, which has become one of the biggest food delivering apps in the country, announced on Friday that it will provide a sound healthcare plan for its 1.25 lakh delivery partners across India under the name "Swiggy Smiles".
The Swiggy Smiles initiative is also said to have benefits for employees such as medical, and educational.
"Delivering millions of orders each month, we believe that our delivery partners are the backbone of Swiggy. Swiggy Smiles is a concrete step in our long-term vision of creating a marketplace that will provide them with best-in-class benefits," Sachin Kotangale, the vice-president, operations, told Business Standard.