Mumbai Local

Food poisoning: event organisers to take legal action against Box8

he organisers of the Indian International Model United Nations (IIMUN) conference said they will take legal action against Box8 for supplying stale food to an estimated 5,000 children on Thursday at its citywide event.

Many children had complained of food poisoning after consuming packaged meals provided by Box8 and were rushed to various hospitals across the city. While most of the victims were discharged the same day, a few were still recuperating in hospitals.

“We are exploring legal action against Box8. The company has played with the lives of children. They have not yet apologised,” said Rishabh Shah, founder and president, IIMUN. In a statement, Mr Shah has alleged that while Box8 samples of food was fresh, the food served to the children was stale, resulting in them falling ill.

According to the statement, Box8 loaded its trucks in Thane with stale food and transported it to all venues of the mock UN conference, including KC College at Churchgate, about 35 km from Thane. It also said the online food ordering platform has refused to apologise to the organisers. The statement also demanded the firm compensate those affected.

Parents were understandably incensed with the company. “They are playing with the lives of over 4,500 students who were participating in the event,” said Mukesh Sheth, whose 15-year-old grandson had to be admitted to Jaslok Hospital.

Mr Sheth said he had been in the food industry for over four decades and knew how certain food combinations don’t last in the summer heat.

Except at Whistling Woods, where nobody ate the food as students had realised the food had spoiled, most children ate at other venues including Thadomal Shahani Engineering College in Bandra, KC College in Churchgate and Lala Lajpat Rai College in Tardeo.

“My daughter’s centre was at Thadomal Shahani Engineering College, where nearly 20 students from her school alone experienced nausea due to the food,” said Ranjeet Adkar. His daughter attends Nalanda Public School in Mulund. “I believe both Box8 and the organisers should have thought of the heat.”

Dr Ashwini Kumar, whose 15-year-old studies in Pawar Public School in Powai and was admitted to Holy Family Hospital in Bandra on Thursday, said his child was doing fine and the organisers and the school rushed him to hospital.

However, other parents alleged their children were served food late, which may have caused it to spoil. Chayya Orpe, mother of a Class VI student still recuperating at Bombay Hospital at Marine Lines where she was admitted on Thursday, said her daughter was given the lunch box at 3.45 pm.

Sanpada resident Meenakshi Garg, whose child was rushed to Lilavati Hospital in Bandra, was angry that no one had contacted her after her son started vomiting, adding she could reach him only through his friend’s phone.

In a statement, Box8 said it maintains a rigorous quality process through preparation of food and delivery system, including tasting the food before serving, which was followed on Thursday without any adverse results. “The matter is being inquired into by the authorities and we have been fully co-operating to identify the cause. Once the cause is identified, Box8 will spare no efforts to deal with the same,” the statement said.

The writer is an intern at The Hindu

They are playing

with the lives of

over 4,500 students participating in

the event

Mukesh ShethA victim’s grandfather

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Printable version | Mar 8, 2021 3:22:21 AM |

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