Officials seize rotten fish,meat from eateries across Kerala

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Thiruvananthapuram: The Health department and Food Safety Department have jointly carried out raids in hotels and other eateries across the state as part of the measures against food poisoning. The inspections revealed the pathetic condition of food served to the public in restaurants and other eateries including hostel mess and hospital canteens. Officials conducted surprise inspections in Ernakulam, Thiruvananthapuram, Idukki, Palakkad, and Kasaragod districts on Saturday.

The food safety department has decided to carry out inspections in the hotels after a girl died of food poisoning in Kasaragod.

The authorities have seized stale foods, including rotten meat and fish. Around 25 kg of rotten fish was seized from a canteen and a hostel mess of a private hospital at Nedumangad, here. A hotel was shut down in Thiruvananthapuram town for not functioning without a licence.

Meantime, stale food was seized in several hotels in Kochi. According to reports, the officials found that for more than one-month-old food was being served to the customers at a hotel in Maradu. Further, it came to attention that the hotels were functioning without following the norms of cleanliness.

Four hotels were shut down in Idukki for lacking a licence. 10 kg of rotten fish was seized from Cheruthonni.

A hotel was closed down in Palakkad for functioning in poor condition without any basic amenities. Meantime, 400kg of rotten fish was seized from Kasaragod. The fish was brought from Tamil Nadu for sale in Kerala.

State Health Minister Veena George on Friday said the authorities carried out a statewide inspection in the past five days.

"In the five days of the wide-ranging inspection conducted at 1,132 eateries, it was found out that 61 establishments had no license, 110 eateries were closed due to poor cleanliness, and 347 eateries were served show-cause notices. 140 kg meat was seized and 93 samples have been sent for tests," she said.

George noted that food adulteration is a serious offence and strict action will be taken against all the wrongdoers.

"Various drives, which found adulteration in jaggery, curry powder, coconut oil, besides milk, are currently going on. More raids will be conducted across the state and it includes inspection at entry points to the state and markets and food processing centres," she added.

Intervening in the issue after suo moto registering a case against the food poisoning death at Kasargod, the Kerala High Court on Friday said such an unfortunate incident could have been avoided had stricter checks and balances been in place and demanded that there should be all-round checks all the time.
(With inputs from IANS)

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