Food aggregators such as Zomato, Swiggy, UberEats and Food Panda have delisted 10,500 restaurants that did not have the food safety regulator’s approval, The Times of India reported.
The move by the food aggregators comes after the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) had directed the food delivery platforms to de-list non-licensed establishments in July. The regulator had received consumer complaints on sub-standard food being served through e-commerce platforms and asked these sites to remove all unlicensed and non-registered restaurants from their listings by September 30.
While reviewing the progress made by online food delivery platforms, FSSAI found Zomato has delisted 2,500, Swiggy 4,000, Foodpanda 1,800, UberEats 2,000 partner hotels. Around 200 restaurants on other platforms too have been delisted, the report said.
“These food aggregators have been directed to share the list of delisted hotels/restaurants so that action can be initiated against defaulters,” FSSAI told the paper, adding that once the list is in place, it can be shared with state enforcement machinery for the action against non-compliant food business operators.
Earlier, the food regulator had shared a checklist of compliance for hotels and restaurants with these food aggregators and asked them to conduct internal food safety audits of some of their partner hotels and restaurants.
After conducting these audits, some of the food delivery aggregators have also come together for training and certification of supervisors of hotels and restaurants.
These measures are a part of a special drive to ensure compliance with food safety laws by all food operators. “It is also the responsibility of the aggregator to ensure that a hotel or a restaurant using its e-commerce platform is compliant to law. In case of non-compliance, the e-commerce platform will also be held liable,” an FSSAI official told the paper.
In February, the FSSAI made it mandatory for e-commerce food services platforms to display the FSSAI licence or registration number of the listed restaurants on their platforms. In addition, food e-commerce players, excluding those that only provide listing or directory services, were asked to obtain an FSSAI licence.