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In less than 7 days, the third incident of stale food being served in a train has come to light. The most recent one being, in a Jan Shatabdi train that was plying from Thane to Chiplun. A family complained that they were served fungus-infected bread

This incident took place on January 11, when Vivekanand Gupta was travelling to Chiplun with his family. Narrating the complete incident, Gupta said that they were carrying some snacks like Poha with us but the same had become dry so they decided to buy some snacks on the go. He had ordered for bread cutlet on the train and as soon as they removed the foil, they saw that the bread was laced with fungus. However, by this time the vendor had moved on to another compartment and the family had no option but to wait for him to return.

Meanwhile, they had complained to the ticket checker in the compartment, and he suggested that they should lodge a complaint with the pantry manager but the manager failed to turn up. Later, the vendor returned and offered to give a replacement but the Guptas declined and opted for a refund, which was given to them.

IRCTC has said that they have 'Taken cognisance of passenger complaint.' A probe has been ordered in this regards and the caterer has been sent a showcause notice 'for termination of his contract and a fine of Rs 1 lakh.'

It is noteworthy that on the very same day, passengers on-board Tejas Express that was plying from Karmali in Goa to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) in Mumbai, had complained about stale food being served on the train. In that case too, after receiving complaints from several commuters, Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has imposed a fine of ₹1 lakh on the contractor.

Earlier this month, commuters had complained about stale breakfast being served on Mumbai-Ahmedabad Shatabdi Express. As many as 40 passengers alleged that they were vomiting after having bread and butter served on the train and did not even get medical assistance despite repeated requests to the authorities. The train authorities offered to change the food packets but refuted complains that people had become sick after consuming stale food served.

Last week, the IRCTC suspended its on-board catering supervisor and served a termination notice to the authorised caterer of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad Shatabdi Express, after 40 passengers were sickened by the stale bread and butter provided to them for breakfast last Tuesday.

The frequency at which these incidents are happening is alarming to say the least. We hope that IRCTC takes note of these and makes sure that no such incident takes place in future. 

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