As many as 68 people who consumed food from a hotel at Paravur in the Ernakulam district of Kerala sought treatment after suffering from diarrhoea and vomiting.
Of these 68 people, one woman, identified as Geethu from Cherai, is in a critical condition and was shifted to Ernakulam Medical College.
As soon as the matter came to light, municipal health officials closed down the hotel, Majlis.
Twenty-eight out of these 68 people, including two children, were admitted to Paravur Taluk Hospital, and 20 to private hospitals. Those who have eaten from here have sought treatment in other districts as well. Nine others who were students of Kunnukara MES College.
On Monday evening, people who consumed Kuzhimanthi, Alfaham and Shawai from this hotel were admitted to the hospital due to severe vomiting and diarrhoea.
According to municipal health officials, the health problem was suspected to have been caused due to the consumption of meat.
At first, three people sought treatment at the hospital due to physical discomfort. After the incident was reported, the health department of Paravur Municipality reached there and closed the hotel. Officials also inspected the hotel.
Later, the MLA of the constituency, also the Kerala Leader of Opposition, VD Satheesan issued a press release that continuous incidence of food poisoning in the state is “frightening” the people.
He further said: “Repetition of such incidents highlights the inaction of health and food safety departments. As soon as I came to know about the incident, I spoke to the officials of the health and food safety departments. I have demanded adequate treatment be provided to those admitted to the hospital. The current information is that there is nothing to fear about anyone’s health condition. The hotel has been closed due to food poisoning. The Food Safety Department has asked officials to intensify inspections in the region.”
In the wake of several food-poisoning incidents in the state, the Kerala Government on Friday issued new guidelines for catering services.
Kerala Health Minister Veena George said that as per the new guidelines, a licence for catering services has been made compulsory in the state and a health card is mandatory for employees.
Earlier on January 4, the Food Safety Department of the Kerala government conducted an inspection in 429 establishments across the state and shut down 43 hotels following the death of a woman in a suspected food poisoning incident at a religious event.
The state health ministry informed that among the 43 establishments, 21 were found to be without a licence.
Notices were issued to 138 institutions and 44 food samples have been sent for testing.
The ministry also stated that inspections would be continued intensively across the state.
The probe was initiated into a suspected food poisoning incident in which over 100 people fell ill.
The incident occurred in the Keezvaipur area of the Pathanamthitta district of Kerala.