Attempt to commit culpable homicide case against N. Paravur hotel owner following suspected food poisoning episode

January 17, 2023 07:35 pm | Updated 09:48 pm IST - KOCHI

As many as 27 persons, mostly school and college students, were admitted to various hospitals with symptoms of food poisoning on Tuesday reportedly after consuming food from a hotel in North Paravur the previous night.

Hotel Majlis near the North Paravur municipal office along the national highway was shut down by civic authorities shortly after the incident was reported.

Health Minister Veena George said the licence of the hotel had been suspended. The Food Safety Commissioner was asked to conduct an emergency inspection and submit a report. The action was based on that, she added. 

While five persons were discharged, 17 are undergoing treatment at the North Paravur Taluk Hospital and one each at two private hospitals. A woman was shifted to Government Medical College Hospital, Kalamassery, after her condition slightly deteriorated, though she was out of danger.

“The hotel will not be allowed to open any time soon, and a decision on it will depend on the results of samples collected by Food Safety officials for testing,” said municipal vice chairman M.J. Raju.

The affected persons had mostly consumed Arabic dishes such as kuzhimanthi and alfahm, while those who had eaten chicken and beef also complained of discomfort. Health officials have collected remains of a food parcel that a family purchased from the hotel the previous night.

“Initially, three persons reported at the hospital. But the number kept rising soon afterwards, and the taluk hospital superintendent alerted the municipality. Those admitted mostly complained of vomiting, stomach upset, fever, shivering, body pain, and headache,” said R. Binoy, health supervisor, North Paravur municipality.

As news spread, more people who had eaten food from the hotel started going to the hospital, more out of anxiety. At last count, nearly 70 persons have sought treatment in various hospitals.

The North Paravur police have registered a case against the owners of the hotel under IPC Sections 308 (attempt to culpable homicide), 336 (act endangering life or personal safety of others) and 273 (sale of noxious food or drink). “We are verifying the ownership of the hotel, which seems to have multiple owners as per initial information. Further actions like arrests would be carried out on the basis of scientific investigation and results of food samples being tested by the Food Safety department,” said police sources. 

The Food Safety authorities had shut down another eatery, the sister concern of the hotel, at Chendamangalam last week. Adulterated tea had reportedly landed the eatery in trouble.

Meanwhile, the Food Safety department on Tuesday conducted raids at 189 food units across the State. Two units found operating in unhygienic conditions and without relevant licence were closed down. Notices were issued to 37 units.

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