The Kerala High Court on Thursday asked the state government what steps have been taken in connection with the incidents of food poisoning in the state.
A bench of Justices Anil K Narendran and P G Ajithkumar also asked whether the licensees were being prosecuted.
”What action is the government taking with regard to food poisoning in various hotels? Are these licensees being prosecuted?” the bench asked during the hearing of a Sabarimala related matter.
In the wake of food poisoning incidents being reported in the state, Kerala Health Minister Veena George on Tuesday had ordered ‘widespread’ inspections across all 14 districts and stringent action against outlets operating without licence or serving adulterated and unhygienic meals.
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Subsequently, on Wednesday, the state Health Department in a release had said that the Food Safety Department inspected 547 eateries across the state and operations of 48 among them were suspended for operating in unsanitary conditions or without licences.
Besides that notices were issued to 142 eateries and the inspections will continue, the release had said.
It had also said that from July to December last year, nearly half a lakh inspections were carried out, notices were issued to 9,248 eateries, 149 were closed down and fines to the tune of Rs 97.60 lakh were levied.
Moreover, around 82,406 eateries were registered and 18,037 were licensed in the last six months, the release had said.
In Pathanamthitta, over 100 people suffered from suspected food poisoning on January 1 after allegedly taking meals during a baptism function in a church near Keezhvaipur area of the district, police had said.
In Kottayam, around 21 people fell ill after allegedly consuming food from an eatery there in December last year, police had also said.
Meanwhile, the death of a nurse in Kottayam is yet to be classified as due to food poisoning as a medical report confirming that has not been received, police said.
The victim’s family has alleged that the nurse died after eating food from the same eatery from where meals had allegedly caused food poisoning among 21 persons who ate from there.