Kerala nurse’s death brings into focus shortage of food safety officials

After the present incident, a Food Safety official who is in-charge in the area, has now been suspended
Representative Image
Representative ImageIANS

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: After a nurse died due to suspected food poisoning, the lack of food safety officials in Kerala has come into focus as the state has only 140 field staff for monitoring six lakh establishments.

On Tuesday, the nurse working in the Kottayam Medical College, had food from a hotel near the hospital and soon developed complications. After a few days she passed away.

The Health department after the death of the nurse has been jolted into action after the youth wing of the CPI(M) went on a rampage and ransacked the hotel.

As the media picked up the young nurse's case, Soon after the news of the nurse passing away surfaced, state Health Minister -- journalist-turned CPI(M) Minister -- Veena George said strong action would be taken.

The hotel, where the nurse had eaten food, had its license cancelled last month following complaints, but was allowed to open after paying a fine of Rs 20,000.

After the present incident, a Food Safety official who is in-charge in the area, has now been suspended.

In May, 2022 a young woman had died after eating a 'Shawarma' in Kasargode.

The minister had then promised to strengthen inspection by the Food Safety officials besides developing an App for the benefit of the people to register their complaints.

But so far nothing has happened. Now, after the nurse's death a fresh promise has now come that very soon the App would be launched.

According to statistics there are around six lakh establishments across the state that are into the business of food and to monitor them on a regular basis there are only 140 Food Safety officials.

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