Two health squads to begin checking from Thursday

Squads of Health officials of the Kochi Corporation will carry out inspections in the city eateries to ensure that safe food is sold through them during the festival season.

Two squads will check the hotels, restaurants and other eateries in the city from Thursday to ensure that only healthy food, which is prepared in hygienic condition, is sold during the festival season.

The civic authorities are also planning to act against the encroachment of footpaths and pavements by hawkers during the season, said T.K. Ashraf, chairman of the Health Standing Committee of the Kochi Corporation.

The health officials had earlier carried out several inspections in the city hotels. The inspection was temporarily put on hold as a large number of hotels remained closed during the day hours. Four city hotels from which stale food was confiscated were slapped a fine of Rs. 5,000 each and issued a stern warning.

If the hotels are again found selling stale food and preparing and serving them in unhygienic conditions, action would be taken against them.

The Corporation plans to resume the inspections this week and action will be taken against the erring hotels, he said.

All the Health Inspectors of the Corporation will be directed to focus on food trade and related health aspects during the festival days. The association of bakers, which had campaigned against the adulteration and use of harmful food colours, have come forward to cooperate with the civic authorities to curb use of harmful chemicals in food.

The support of the association will be used to find out whether harmful food colours are used in food materials like banana chips.

Squads consisting of Health officials and representatives of the association will jointly carry out inspections in bakeries.

While the association representatives will carry out the inspections, the officials of the Corporation will provide the required support and follow up the cases including the initiation of legal action against the violators, he said.

The civic authorities had temporarily closed a hotel near the Ernakulam North Railway station following a complaint that a rodent was found in a food packet that was purchased from the hotel the other day.

The Health officials, who carried out the inspection, have also served notices to seven hotels in the area for serving stale food.

Notice was also served to a hospital canteen functioning near Kacheripady. Food was prepared in unhygienic conditions in the canteen, said Mr. Ashraf.

No incidents of jaundice have been reported by the District Health authorities in the city though there were reports of the disease from the neighbouring local bodies, he said.

Keywords: food safety

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