CHENNAI: We can’t be held accountable if consumers fall sick by consuming milk without boiling, a leading private dairy argued at the city consumer disputes redressal commission. The dairy and a supermarket were held accountable and ordered to pay 25,000 as compensation to the affected consumers.
According to the complainant, Rajkumar Vythianathan, a resident of Keelkattalai, he purchased two half-litres of standardised Arokya milk, manufactured by Hatsun Agro Product Ltd, from a Reliance Fresh store at Madipakkam around 8pm on July 6, 2019. He and his wife consumed the milk around 9.30pm. They soon experienced frequent bowel movements and visited their family doctor for treatment.
Later, upon checking the milk sachets, Rajkumar found that information such as expiry date, production date, batch number and price were not printed on it. He filed a complaint with Hatsun and Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) in vain.
He approached the district consumer disputes redressal commission in Chengalpet. Hatsun, in a response, said that the consumers did not submit their medical records or original bill (used to buy milk), and the duplicate copy of it suggested a different purchase time.
The private dairy argued that the milk products should always be stored in cold containers failing which it gets spoiled. It said milk must be consumed only after properly boiling it or else there was a chance of it getting spoiled. The retail supermarket claimed that the couple could have purchased milk from other stores, and the complainant could have sent it to labs for testing after he smelled odour.
However, the commission held that the dairy and the supermarket failed to resolve the customer’s problems relating to product quality despite complaints. It directed them to pay 25,000 as compensation to the complainant for causing mental agony, deficiency in service and cost towards complaint.