regular-article-logo Monday, 15 July 2024

Over 70 people fall ill in Koderma from festive snacking, vendor detained

Deputy commissioner Megha Bharadwaj says victims, who have been hospitalised, are stable

Animesh Bisoee Jamshedpur Published 22.10.23, 07:03 AM
Patients undergo treatment at the Sadar Hospital in Koderma.

Patients undergo treatment at the Sadar Hospital in Koderma. Bhola Prasad

Over 70 persons, mostly children and women, fell ill on Saturday morning due to suspected food poisoning after consuming phuchka, locally called pani puri, from a vendor at a Durga Puja fair in Koderma district of Jharkhand on Friday night.

Koderma deputy commissioner Megha Bharadwaj said that the victims, who have been hospitalised, were stable on Saturday.


“These persons had consumed pani puris from an itinerant vendor who went to different villages in Lokai panchayat in Koderma Sadar block on Friday night," said the deputy commissioner.

"They complained of diarrhea-like symptoms such as vomiting, fever and stomach pain early on Saturday morning. All the patients are undergoing treatment at Koderma Sadar Hospital. Their condition is reported to be stable. The vendor has also been detained and the food samples from his stall have been seized. These would be sent to the food testing lab in Ranchi,” Bharadwaj added.

The deputy commissioner further said that taking lessons from the incident, food safety officer Prakash Sarkar has been asked to conduct random sampling of food samples from vendors at Durga Puja fairs.

He and his team will also sensitise vendors about food safety and hygiene guidelines according to food safety standards, the DC added.

Koderma additional chief medical officer Dr Ranjit Kumar said that the 70 patients who complained of food poisoning-like symptoms said they had pani puri from the same vendor at various spots of Lokai.

"They were all admitted to the Koderma Sadar Hospital based on their symptoms. However, most of the patients have recovered and are under observation now," Kumar said.

"We seized the vendor's food items after he was detained. However, even the vendor has been complaining of illness. He is also undergoing treatment at Sadar Hospital. After getting a report from the food testing lab in Ranchi from the seized food samples, we can ascertain the exact reason for the food poisoning,” he said.

Kumar further informed that sampling of food items had begun at different crowd-pulling Puja pandals on Saturday and the process will continue.

He said teams were alerting snack vendors to maintain hygiene and food safety guidelines during the festive days.

Kumar also informed that many were coming to the Sadar Hospital complaining of diarrhea, vomiting and stomach ache. The situation is being monitored by senior administration officials.

Usually, food testing and sampling are done a few days before major festivals in only big cities of Jharkhand to check adulteration. However, similar tests are hardly done in other districts, as a result of which vendors are hardly aware of food safety guidelines.

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