A live rat was found inside a sealed packet of bread ordered in India via Zomato-owned instant delivery app Blinkit, local media reported on Saturday.
Twitter user Nitin Arora who reportedly bought the contaminated food item shared images and videos of the rodent moving inside the packet earlier this month.
“Most unpleasant experience with @letsblinkit, where alive rat was delivered inside the bread packet ordered on 1.2.23. This is alarming for all of us. If 10 minutes delivery has such baggage, @blinkitcares I would rather wait for a few hours than take such items. #blinkit #zomato,” Arora said in his tweet.
Most unpleasant experience with @letsblinkit , where alive rat was delivered inside the bread packet ordered on 1.2.23. This is alarming for all of us. If 10 minutes delivery has such baggage, @blinkitcares I would rather wait for a few hours than take such items.#blinkit #zomato pic.twitter.com/RHNOj6tswA— Nitin Arora (@NitinA14261863) February 3, 2023
Blinkit was founded in 2013 in the northern Indian state of Haryana and currently operates in over 30 cities across the Asian country. Restaurant aggregator and food delivery company Zomato acquired Blinkit last year.
As part of the media shared was a screenshot of Arora’s chat with a support representative of Blinkit, who apologized and said: “Yes, I can see, your concern is genuine. I deeply apologise to you for this issue. We have noted this and will escalate it from our end. Your feedback for this specific incident has been noted and we will surely take corrective measures to improve the same.”
Upon sharing the issue online, Dhananjay Shashidharan, reportedly the Head of Customer Delight at Blinkit replied saying that the store that sold the contaminated food item was delisted from Blinkit’s platform.
I head Customer Support here at Blinkit. I want to assure you, we've taken swift action already and de-listed the partner store, even as we are investigating the matter with the store owner. (1/n)— Dhananjay Shashidharan (@Dhananjay_6691) February 11, 2023
“I want to assure you, we’ve taken swift action already and de-listed the partner store, even as we are investigating the matter with the store owner. We have high standards for hygiene at all our stores, and with this incident, we have increased the frequency of audits at the store networks,” he said in his tweet reply.
Foodborne diseases in India lead to 120,000 deaths a year, according to data shared by the World Health Organization in 2020.
In statistics published during World Food Safety Day in 2020, the WHO said it expects foodborne disease to rise from 100 million in 2011 to 150-177 million in 2030 in India.
While the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) maintains and updates rules and regulations over food standards, enforcement of the measures are relatively lax.