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Kerala constitutes special task force to deal with food poisoning

In the wake of a spate of food poisoning cases in the state, a special task force (intelligence) has come into being.

Thiruvananthapuram, January 20, (BPNS)

In the wake of a spate of food poisoning cases in the state, a special task force (intelligence) has come into being. Announcing the formation of such a mechanism, health minister Veena George said that the force headed by an officer in the rank of deputy commissioner of food safety has been entrusted to investigate food poisoning incidents and its follow-up, check adulteration, identify those units that operate without a license and others. The task force will directly report to the State Food Safety Commissioner.

“The five-member task force will study food poisoning incidents and will submit a report on how to prevent such incidents in the future,” said Veena.

The minister then added, “They will also examine adulteration. The units who process and market adulterated products will be traced out and necessary actions will be initiated against them.”

The other day, the division bench comprising Chief Justice S Manikumar and Justice Shaji P Chaly, had directed the state health secretary to file a detailed report regarding numerous food poisoning incidents that occurred in the state and the steps taken against the same.

The bench was hearing a suo motu case that was initiated based on news reports regarding the death of a 16-year-old girl at Kasargod on May 2, 2022, due to food poisoning. Though the case was disposed of on June 27, 2022, the court decided to revive it in the wake of recent food poisoning incidents.

The court is expected to consider the matter again on February 2.

At the same time, with the government intensifying food safety enforcement activities in the state, food safety department officials have started to receive threat calls.

In the latest, a food safety officer was threatened by a hotel owner when the former arrived there for inspection. It was Buharis Hotel in Thrissur that threatened the officer during an inspection drive.

Taking note of the incident, the minister said that such incidents will be strongly dealt with.

“In this case, the license of the hotel has been suspended. A complaint has been registered with the police against those for obstruction of duties. Stringent action will be initiated against such persons,” added the minister.