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Kerala: Food Safety Department imposes fine of Rs 47 lakh for stale food solely in Ernakulam district

A total of 10,019 inspections were conducted in the district from January to December. Around 437 shops were closed and 14,81,600 were fined by filing a case in the RDO courts.

Kerala: Food Safety Department imposes fine of Rs 47 lakh for stale food solely in Ernakulam district rkn
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First Published Jan 30, 2024, 5:01 PM IST

Kochi: The food safety department conducted strict inspections across the state after reports of deaths due to food poisoning. Throughout the period from January to December of the previous year, Ernakulam district witnessed intensive scrutiny under the direction of various squads within the Food Safety Department. This concerted effort resulted in the collection of fines amounting to Rs 47,60,300 solely in Ernakulam district. The officials provided clarification regarding these developments during a meeting of the Food Safety Advisory Committee.

A total of 10,019 inspections were conducted in the district from January to December. Around 437 shops were closed and 14,81,600 were fined by filing a case in the RDO courts. 80,066 kg of used oil was collected and used for biodiesel production. It has been handed over to three authorized agencies in the district. In the face of widespread cases of food poisoning and death from shawarma, the inspection of shawarma shops was tightened. 782 inspections were conducted and notices were issued to 343 shops. Around 86 shops were closed and a fine of Rs 10,15,000 was levied only from shops selling shawarma. 

The inspections have also been tightened at fish-selling markets. The inspections were conducted in 443 centers in the district last year. A notice was sent to 69 shops and a fine of Rs 2,10,000 was levied in this regard. 6630 kg of spoiled fish were found during the inspection. 2824 tests were conducted under the guidance of the mobile labs.

Deputy Collector V.E. Abbas presided over a meeting of the Food Safety Advisory Committee, alongside Assistant Commissioner of Food Safety John Vijayakumar at the Spark Hall of the Collectorate last day. Various initiatives concerning food safety were discussed during the session. The committee resolved to draft a letter addressed to the Director of Public Education, requesting collaboration to integrate schools within the ambit of food safety licensing. Additionally, the implementation of the Eat Right School scheme was endorsed to enhance the quality of food provided in district schools.

A meeting of local bodies will be held regarding the opening of slaughterhouses in all local bodies. The inspection will also be widespread in hostels in the district. The clean street food project, which will be launched in Panampilly Nagar at a cost of Rs.1 crore, will be inaugurated before March. A total polar count machine is additionally required to check the quality of the oil used to make the chips. 

Based on the report of the amicus curiae, joint night squads consisting of the police and the municipal health department are conducting effective inspections at small food shops. The Assistant Commissioner of Food Safety also informed that the presence of formalin and ammonia is being checked with the help of mobile labs in fish markets and harbors in the morning with the cooperation of fisheries and health department officials.

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