Food safety inspections continued across the district on Sunday too as part of the ongoing crackdown on unsafe food.
While inspections in fish markets to detect adulteration in seafood continued as part of Operation Matsya, restaurants and food joints too were under the scanner to detect lack of license or that of hygiene in food storage and preparation.
Two squads comprising food safety officials conducted inspections in restaurants on the Ulloor-Medical College road and the Pattom-Kesavadasapuram stretch.
One squad inspected six restaurants on the Ulloor-Medical College road. Notices were served on two eateries to take corrective action, and two issued fines. A sample of tea dust was collected from one shop to be sent for analysis. The officials also directed that chicken that was found stored in a freezer of one restaurant in unhygienic conditions, without following stipulations regarding storage date, be disposed of. No instances of stale or adulterated fish came to attention.
The squad conducting inspections in the Pattom-Kesavadasapuram-Kuravankonam area visited eight restaurants and juice counters. Closure notice was issued to Garam Masala restaurant at Pattom. Fines were issued to two restaurants, including Alankar at Kuravankonam.
Though a complaint of minor health problems was received against a shawarma shop, inspections did not detect anything amiss.
One squad conducted inspections at Kallara, Pangode, and Bharathannur areas outside the city limits to detect adulterated fish. Thirteen samples of fish were collected during 12 inspections of fish markets and roadside vendors.
The squad also collected samples of tuna from the Venjaramoodu police that the latter had gathered during inspections from Pazhayachantha (old market) in Kallara panchayat on Saturday. This included a tuna in which worms had reportedly been found after it was cut open. This particular fish had been said to have been purchased from the same location where a family had bought fish on Friday. The family had purchased anchovies and horse mackerel—one from a vendor selling fish on a two-wheeler and the other from a roadside vendor.
When the younger child of the family of four experienced diarrhoea and vomiting after lunch that day, she was taken to a private hospital in Kallara. By the next evening, the parents too began experiencing tiredness, and along with the older child went to hospital and were administered intravenous drips. The condition of the family members is stable now. Samples of the horse mackerel that were left were collected for running food safety tests.
N. Anil Kumar, Assistant Commissioner of Food Safety, Thiruvananthapuram, says unhygienic conditions, negligence, failure to renew licence if it got cancelled or the licensee died, and inadequate cold chain maintenance, are responsible for food getting contaminated. Health education, both orally and in written form, is being provided to eateries and restaurants.