As  Beefs Increase, Expat Lunches Lose Meatier Side 
New Delhi | Kolkata:
Some MNCs stop serving meat of bovine origin in company canteens
The grief over beef -even though the meat in question may actually be buffalo or something else -has made headlines around the world. One unintended consequence back in India has been on company dining rooms -more specifically , those of multinationals.Under the circumstances, which may have something to do with the apparent lowering of tolerance thresholds, they have stopped serving anything that’s of bovine origin. As a result, expat staff have found themselves missing their favourite source of protein.Some of them feel this is slightly jarring at a time PM Narendra Modi has been seeking to extol the charms and virtues of India as an investment destination, most recently in Silicon Valley . A leading Japanese electronics company has stopped serv ing anything made with such meat in its office canteen which caters to executives from the home country. They can order bento boxes from Japanese restaurants nearby but the non-veg has to be pork or fish. Beef supply has also been stopped at Huawei’s office canteen for the past few days, said a company executive on condition of anonymity The impact isn’t just restricted to the canteens. Employ ees at a South Korean company in the National Capital Re gion have decided not to move their families, who were due to join them soon, to India. As companies prefer to play it safe, that means depriving South Koreans, Japanese, Eu ropeans and Americans of something they regard as part of their staple diet.

“Beef is definitely the most popular food item among South Koreans. The recent controversy over beef eating in India has created some concern among our expats in various South Ko rean business firms in India,“ a South Korean official said.

The capital region is the second-largest home for South Koreans in India with around 200 professionals, while Chennai is the biggest with around 600 as several factories are located in the area. As for Japanese, the NCR has about 2,000 of them. “There is increasing concern. Even in Gur gaon, having beef itself is technically a criminal offence The recent incident in Dadri was carried in Japanese media,“ a Japanese government official said.

The effects of the meat controversy have been most strongly felt in the north and west but the sense of forebod ing has spread to a key southern hub as well.

Bengaluru-based staffing and skill development firm Quess Corp CMD Ajit Isaac said the meat controversy has added to concerns about freedom of choice among foreign ers, given that meat is so much a part of the western lifestyle “While its unavailability may not be a stumbling block ye for expats to work here, it certainly raises question on the quality of life in India,“ Isaac said.

Staffing firms said they are now focusing more on Indian cuisines and taboos for expats as part of their recruitment and induction process to sensitise them to what can and can’t be had.