Food poisoning in North Paravur: lapses in enforcement against unsafe food exposed

Health wing of civic body fails to detect lapses at restaurant despite inspecting it on Tuesday morning

January 18, 2023 07:43 pm | Updated 07:43 pm IST - KOCHI

The closure of an eatery at North Paravur on Tuesday after nearly 70 persons fell ill following suspected food poisoning after consuming food from the outlet near the municipal office has once again exposed the gaps in enforcement against sale of unsafe food.

The Health wing of the civic body failed to detect lapses at Majlis eatery despite inspecting it on Tuesday morning. The symptoms of food poisoning were detected in persons who had consumed ‘kuzhimanthi’ and biriyani on Monday. A few persons had sought treatment at the Government Taluk Hospital on Monday night and Tuesday early morning.

The officials of the Health wing admitted that they came to know about the food poisoning incident only by 11 a.m. on Tuesday after the authorities at the taluk hospital shared the information.

“The eatery was pulled up by the Food Safety department earlier for adding flavouring substances beyond permissible limits. A branch of the outlet at Chendamangalam was closed down by the Food Safety officials two weeks ago as it was functioning without a valid license issued by the municipality,” alleged T.V. Nidhin, opposition leader representing the Communist Party of India (Marxist).

V.A. Prabhavathy, chairperson of the municipality, said that the secretary of the civic body will file a complaint before the police seeking action against the owner of the outlet. “We will close down all units functioning without a license,” she said. The chairperson admitted that the temporary structure set up by the hotel management outside its main building was illegal, though no action was taken till now.

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