Investigations indicate that there was an accidental mix of some chemical in the food items
The death of three children left many questions unanswered and the officials were found struggling to arrive at a basic conclusion on Tuesday's incident.
The revenue, police, civil supplies and food inspectors could not zero in on the cause of food poisoning. They could not ascertain whether the deaths were due to food adulteration or due to “accidental mix of a strong chemical”.
The investigations also indicate that there was an accidental mix of some chemical in the food items prepared at the eatery.
The mishap took place at around 7.30 a.m., and the people in the vicinity said that the wheat flour purchased from Public Distribution System (PDS) was the cause of food poisoning.
It sent jitters down the spines of civil supplies officials. They began collecting samples from all the PDS shops in that area to zero in on the source of food poisoning.
The food inspectors collected samples from available raw material, as the police had already seized the cooked material from the eatery as soon as news broke out.
The civil supplies officials, however, contended that the Government had not supplied any wheat flour to the PDS shops in rural areas. The local ration shop owner might have been selling it in an unauthorised way.
There was possibility of accidental mix of strong chemical (Endosulphan) in wheat flour or oil.
There were instances of contamination of food items while ferrying as the transporters dump chemicals and food items on the same lorry or vehicle, they said.
The food inspectors felt that instantaneous deaths would not occur had it been food adulteration. The victim would suffer from vomiting, motions and nausea, depending upon health conditions, for 24 to 48 hours if it were food adulteration, but, three kids died within a few hours of consuming the food, they pointed out. District Collector S.A.M.Rizvi who came to the Pinnamaneni-Siddhartha Medical College Hospital to check on the victims of food poisoning agreed that the wheat flour was purchased from the ration shop, but it was not supplied to the shop by the Government. The label on the packet gives the address of a firm in Patamata, Vijayawada.