24 passengers hospitalised due to food poisoning on-board Tejas Express train

Low patronisation: Passengers get confirmed tickets on Tejas Express even a day before the journey. File Photo   | Photo Credit: The Hindu

Twenty-four rail passengers were hospitalised on Sunday due to food poisoning after they had breakfast on-board Indian Railways’ premium train Tejas Express between Goa and Mumbai.

“A case of food poisoning was reported on train no. 22120 Tejas Express upon information from passengers. The train was stopped out of course at Chiplun railway station and treatment was given to passengers by railway doctor,” the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) said in an official statement.

It added that 24 passengers were admitted at Lifecare Hospital in Chiplun, Maharashtra where they were undergoing medical treatment. An IRCTC spokesperson said that all the hospitalised passengers were out of danger. The IRCTC had licensed the catering services to J.K. Ghosh company for providing meals on-board Tejas Express.

Passengers felt uneasy after having their breakfast meal that was served to 220 passengers – 170 vegetarian and 130 non-vegetarian meals, an IRCTC official said.  “Most of the hospitalised passengers had consumed omelette in breakfast,” said an IRCTC official. The Indian Railways has sent the food sample for inspection.

The Railway Ministry has issued a showcause notice for termination of contract to caterer JK Ghosh, which was responsible for providing food on-board Tejas Express, Railway Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani told The Hindu when contacted.

Tejas Express is the country’s first semi-high speed fully AC train service launched between Karmali railway station in Goa and Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Terminal in June this year. The maiden Tejas Express train service that was launched on this route had modern amenities such as automatic doors, LED TV, USB charging points, GPS-based passenger information system, celebrity chef menu and coffee vending machine, among others.

This incident of food poisoning comes three months after the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) had said in an audit report that the Indian Railways is serving food on trains and stations which is “unfit for human consumption.”

During the joint inspection of the selected 74 stations and 80 trains, the CAG report had found that food items were not covered to protect them from flies, insects and dust and rats and cockroaches were also found in trains. “Articles unsuitable for human consumption, contaminated foodstuff, recycled foodstuff, shelf life expired packaged and bottled items, unauthorised brands of water bottles, etc, were offered for sale on stations,” the CAG had said in its report.


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Printable version | Sep 18, 2021 12:24:35 AM |

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