Indian Railways live streams from kitchens after food scares

Indian Railways has started live streaming from its kitchens so that millions of passengers can see how their meals are prepared after scandals including one involving toilet water caused uproar. (Reuters)
Updated 05 July 2018
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Indian Railways live streams from kitchens after food scares

  • Indian Railways has started live streaming from its kitchens so that millions of passengers can see how their meals are prepared after scandals including one involving toilet water caused uproar.
  • Complaints about rats and cockroaches near onboard kitchens, and meals plagued with insects, are also commonplace.

NEW DELHI: Indian Railways has started live streaming from its kitchens so that millions of passengers can see how their meals are prepared after scandals including one involving toilet water caused uproar.
The state train provider is trying to convince commuters its food is safe after the government’s own corruption watchdog labelled Indian Railways food “unfit for human consumption.”
In May, public confidence took another blow when a rail caterer was filmed making tea from toilet water.
Complaints about rats and cockroaches near onboard kitchens, and meals plagued with insects, are also commonplace.
To clean up its image, Indian Railways launched Wednesday a streaming service on its website allowing travelers to scrutinize hygiene levels in their major kitchens.
“This step will further enhance transparency and public confidence in the food preparation and packaging process across the Indian Railways network,” its catering wing IRCTC said on Twitter.
Private caterers also supply packaged food to the network, one of the world’s largest.
The private caterer behind the toilet tea saga was fined 100,000 rupees ($1,450) for the incident that outrage Indian commuters.
The Comptroller and Auditor General, a government watchdog, said in a 2017 report that meals served aboard Indian trains were “unsuitable for human consumption.”
It said meals were often contaminated and included recycled or expired food, and counterfeit brands of bottled water.
The report also accused railway providers of unhygienic conditions on board train carriages.
Indian Railways runs nearly 13,000 trains every day, with some 24 million traveling across the length and breadth of the British-era rail network.


The man who leads 10 million chefs from his kitchen in Saudi Arabia

Thomas Gugler (left) is based in Saudi Arabia. (Photo supplied)
Updated 15 July 2018
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The man who leads 10 million chefs from his kitchen in Saudi Arabia

DUBAI: As far as a career in food goes, Thomas Gugler seems to have done it all — from working with five-star hotels and gourmet restaurants to hospitals, airlines, mass catering and teaching in universities. Having worked in 13 different countries across the spectrum of the food and beverage industry, Gugler moved to Saudi Arabia in 2002 to join Saudi Arabian Airlines as their executive master chef. In 2009, he co-founded the Saudi Arabian Chefs Association.

“I knew I wanted to become a chef since I was two,” Gugler told Arab News. “My mother and grandmother were both fantastic cooks and that’s how I fell in love with this profession.”

He’s come a long way since he was two in his 35-year-long career, 17 of which he has spent in Saudi Arabia.

Now, as president of the World Association of Chefs Societies, he is tasked with the significant responsibility of leading more than 10 million members from across 110 countries.

“We organize worldwide cooking competitions and educational programs, as well as look into issues such as sustainability and cultural cooking. Our role is to build bridges between the commercial part and the consumers.”

With the head of such a prestigious global organization being based in Saudi Arabia, the local industry should be poised for growth, but, according to Gugler, there is plenty of room for improvement.

“Generally, the cooking and food standards here are not the best but with time and effort all this will be developed more and more,” he said.

Socio-political changes and the boost to the Saudi tourism sector will go a long way in developing the food and beverage industry, he believes.

“This will motivate and benefit the entire hospitality industry and raise the level, which is necessary. Stricter rules, regulations and food safety practices will encourage young and talented people in the industry to become better. It’s a golden opportunity,” Gugler said

His personal preference in food veers toward the local. “I like Arabic cuisine. The best kind is the cultural ethnic cuisine, the heritage of which can be traced back centuries. The local Hijazi cuisine is something no one should miss,” he said.