The Indian Public Health Association intends to carry out a study on the hygiene conditions of waiters and servers in hotels and catering establishments in Chennai, in association with the King Institute of Preventive Medicine, here.

The IPHA-TN State president S. Elango said this measure had been initiated in the light of emerging evidence that deadly forms of bacteria are being spread via these food handlers.

“Salmonella is a common bacteria which causes enteric fever/typhoid fever in men. Among all bacterial causes of fever in India, more than 30 per cent is due to salmonella,” Dr. Elango said. While this is because Indians consume chicken, mutton and eggs even after many hours of cooking and without proper storage and preservation, the second important factor is the cooks and servers in the hotels. “They act as chronic carriers. It is a fact that personal hygiene and health checkups of the people in hotel industries are seldom practised in India including in Tamil Nadu.” Dr. Elango also referred to a mail from Simon Le Hello from Pasteur Institute of Infectious Diseases, Paris, cautioning that Salmonella Typhimuruim DT104 was spreading very fast across the globe. This was highly resistant to most of the common antibiotics given for typhoid fevers. It started as an epidemic in Africa and has reached UK, France and Denmark.

Dr.Simon has requested the health, food, animal husbandry, hotel industries and agriculture sector/authorities to take necessary steps to monitor this bug. He has warned that unless this is done it might become too late to take remedial action, Dr. Elango added.

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