Around 500 kg of rotting frozen chicken was seized from a house here on Thursday, even as Kerala is witnessing a spate of food-poisoning incidents in recent times.
An official of Kalamassery Municipality said complaints were received from several residents that frozen meat was being stored in freezers at the house in question and a foul smell emanating from there.
On Thursday, the house was raided. Chicken from two freezers, ingredients and equipment used for roasting chicken and ‘shawarma’ were seized, the official said.
The seized chicken would be destroyed and a penalty imposed on the persons running the establishment. At the time of the raid, only a few employees were present and the persons running the establishment were not there, the official said. Secretary of Kalamassery Municipality Jayakumar P R told PTI that the fine to be imposed would also include the cost incurred by the local body in disposing of the seized meat.
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He said the establishment was being run without a licence by a native of Malappuram and the meat was stored there for supply to restaurants and eateries in Ernakulam for making roasted chicken, ‘shawai’ (grilled chicken) and the popular Mid-Eastern delicacy- shawarma.
Another official of the local body who was part of the raid said there could be similar establishments in various parts of Kochi city and inspections were to be conducted to find them out.
Concerned over the food-poisoning, State Health Minister Veena George today came out with instructions for eateries — having licence and registration and maintaining hygiene and cleanliness.
The Minister’s statement came after a woman in Kottayam district died recently after having a non-vegetarian dish from an eatery there.
Subsequently, police arrested the chef of the eatery which was shut down as around 21 others had fallen sick after taking food bought from there.
Recently, a couple of suspected food-poisoning cases were reported from Pathanamthitta district too.
In one incident, some students and parents fell ill and were hospitalised after eating meals served at a school event near Kodumon. A few days earlier, around 100 people took food served at a baptism in Keezhvaipur and fell ill.
Besides these, several other similar cases were reported from other parts of the State.