Inspection of tanker lorries distributing drinking water in three districts

Special squads of the Food Safety Commissioner conducted widespread inspection of tanker lorries distributing drinking water in Thiruvananthapuram, Kozhikode, and Ernakulam districts on Tuesday and detected a lot of irregularities in the quality and safety of the drinking water supplied, besides violation of the food safety norms.

The Food Safety wing carried out the inspections following reports that the guidelines issued in January by the Food Safety Commissioner regarding the quality of water and the manner in which it should be transported were being observed more in the breech.

In the inspections conducted in urban and suburban areas in Thiruvananthapuram district, food safety officials issued strict instructions to the Executive Engineer, Kerala Water Authority, that drinking water be supplied only to those tanker lorries that have food safety licence and that adhere strictly to the norms.

Water samples were collected from ten tanker lorries and sent to the Government Analysis Laboratory for testing. Notice was issued to those tanker lorry owners found violating the food safety norms. Inspections were carried out to test water quality at the SUT Hospital canteen and the Nathan hotel at Peroorkada and the latter was issued notice under the Food Safety Act.

In Ernakulam district, five tanker lorries were served notice for not possessing the Food Business Operator (FBO) licence and the water samples from these lorries were sent to the Ernakulam regional analytic lab for testing. Water samples from three drinking water sources were collected and sent for testing.

In Kozhikode district, drinking water supply from two sources was stopped as these were not operating in accordance with the food safety norms. Water samples were collected from the well at Baby Memorial Hospital and sent to the Kozhikode regional lab for testing.

Food Safety Commissioner Biju Prabhakar said that as a first-time exercise, only the notice was being issued to those violating the food safety norms. In the next phase of inspections, steps will be taken for legal prosecution of the offenders, including imposition of fine. The tanker lorries will also be seized.

The public can complain to the Food Safety toll-free line (1800 425 1125) if they notice drinking water being supplied in an unsanitary manner or in violation of the food safety norms.

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