After the rumors went viral on Social Media that Plastic rice was being sold on large scale in Andhra Pradesh, it created jitters among the public. Two days after a customer was attacked in Soornagar area by the Hotel owner and his aides after he complained about the plastic rice in ‘Briyani’, another customer in Meerpet approached local police, claiming that the rice that he brought from the grocery stores are of plastic. After the complaint, official of the civil supplies department raided the shop in Meerpet and seized samples which are now being examined.
Meerpet police said Ashok, a resident of Nandanavanam colony, complained that for the last several days, he and his family members have been suffering from various health problems like stomach ache, pain in hands and legs. It was on Monday night that when Ashok returned home from work in the night, he found that the rice served to him by his wife was mashed and unedible.
Apart from these two incidents another incident came into light when few hostlers of private hostel from Yousufguda complained about the quality of rice they got served on Monday night. Students claimed that rice, that they got served was plastic and tasted differently. The students said the rice was very sticky and they made balls and played cricket with them. Claiming that the eggs bought by the hostel owner were also of plastic
The reports are yet to be verified, officials in the state are taking no chances. The department of weights and measures (W&M) is planning to keep a tab on this novel method of rice adulteration by forming a special enforcement team but the countinous flow of posts on facebook and whatsapp, spreading the rumors of Plasti Rice is making the situation worst.
According to the report published by TOI, Srinivasa Rao, W&M assistant food controller said that, “We also came to know about plastic or fake rice through media and social networking sites. We have not received any instructions from our higher-ups so far on this issue, but locally I am sending four food inspectors to check rice with the main rice traders in Visakhapatnam,” Until then, he said, they had come across only cases of adulteration of red gram and other commodities.
If any citizen lodges a complaint with the department, they would take it seriously, examine the facts and take action under the Food Safety and Standards Act 2006, Rao added. Rice traders, however, rule out the possibility of plastic rice in the port city. “There is no sale of such plastic rice in the city. By God’s grace, Andhra Pradesh does not have any rice shortage to leave space for fake or plastic rice,” said K Bhima Rao, a rice trader.