Chief Justice Orders Gourmet Ice Cream Outlets Closure; 47 Brands Test Unfit

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LAHORE — The Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered all ice cream production units of Gourmet Foods across Punjab sealed and all other edible products of the company be assessed for quality checks.

Hearing a petition filed by the Punjab Food Authority (PFA) at the apex court’s Lahore registry, Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar issued the orders after he was informed that harmful bacteria were discovered in samples of ice cream produced by Gourmet. The existing stock of the product available at Gourmet outlets has already been seized and disposed of by the authority.

The product is among 47 brands of ice cream and frozen desserts that the PFA declared unfit for human consumption on Saturday. The samples were collected in September 2018.

Mr. Usman told court: “The list of the sample results is available on the website (www.pfa.gop.pk) and anybody can download it.”

The PFA Director General in his petition  complained that GNN news channel, which is owned by the Gourmet group, had started a “character assassination” campaign against him after the operation against the brand’s ice cream was carried out.

At this, Justice Nisar remarked that such a TV campaign was tantamount to contempt of court and ordered the owners of Gourmet Foods and GNN to appear before the court tomorrow. The director general of the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority was also ordered to be present.

Meanwhile, the PFA’s vigilance cell and meat safety teams closed four beef shops and seized 1,300kg meat of emaciated and ill animals in different areas of the city.The teams seized 450kg meat from Hajveri Beef Shop, 400kg from Jillani Beef Shop, 300kg from Numan Beef Shop and 150kg from Shahzad Beef Shop. All the [confiscated] stuff was sent to Punjab Agriculture and Meat Company for disposal.

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