Ayesha Mumtaz hails from a middle income family in Lahore. After passing her Provincial Civil Services (PCS) examination, she started her career as a staff officer for the District Coordination Officer (DCO) Lahore. Serving later at several posts in different departments, including the home department, Mumtaz eventually found herself in charge of the Punjab Food Authority, a job she takes very seriously.
Currently serving as the Director of Operations, Ayesha joined Punjab food Authority on 1st June 2015. She rose to fame after raiding various restaurants and hotels to ensure the quality of food and hygiene. She sealed many eateries while fined others for providing unhygienic food to consumers and other noncompliant acts. Her work is being highly appreciated both by Government and general public.
Ayesha makes restaurant owners break out in a cold sweat when she walks through the doors of their establishment. High-end cafes and restaurants, roadside hotels, and food factories, none have been spared. Punjab Food Authority (PFA) Director Operations Ayesha Mumtaz has recently sealed and fined scores of eateries for unhygienic conditions and substandard food across Punjab and the federal capital. And yet, the grub guard confesses she cannot cook.
Ayesha quickly earned a reputation for being an unforgiving officer. She has already inspected over 6,000 eateries. She generally tries to respect everyone, but when the PFA try to seal any business, people act rudely and try to flex their muscles. Then Ayesha responds to them in their own language, which they understand better. She says, No matter how big or small a business is, no one is above the law.
People question her, what do you know about food quality? Have you ever cooked? Are you a food technologist? but it isn’t necessary to be a good cook or a food technologist to implement hygiene laws. The authority has a team of professionals which is qualified and trained for the purpose, says Ayesha towards criticism she faces.
Ayesha is visibly agitated when confronted by accusations that the authority is imposing fines without proper inspection. Do you think you need to test food in a laboratory if it stinks? Do you think there is a need for a test if the freezers are rusty or have congealed blood everywhere? Ayesha insists that when required, proper sampling is tested in a laboratory before a penalty is imposed.
Her experience as director operations taught her to be tough. During raids at bus stands in Badami Bagh, Lahore, she faced some very hostile transporters. They would misbehave and refuse to comply, forcing her to deal with them with an iron fist. After 14 years career in civil service, she has earned unceremonious reputation of being the lady who does not listen to sifarish or entertain requests for favour. Ayesha blames the casual attitude towards hygiene in the food sector as the root cause of most of the health problems.