THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Food safety department has launched pre-monsoon drive keeping a close watch on food joints, thattukadas, hotels and restaurants in city. The drive is aimed at checking water-borne diseases like cholera, diarrhoea and other gastrointestinal ailments caused by contaminated water, food and unhygienic surroundings at these places. The department’s night squad comprising 4-5 members has started monitoring of thattukadas and juice centres once a week.
Assistant Commissioner Food Safety Department, A. K. Mini said on an average 10 complaints were registered every day. Most pertain to unhygienic surroundings, contaminated food and water in thattukadas and food joints. “The focus is more on busy areas like hospitals and bus stands. The complaints received are examined by the squad. Samples are sent to Government Analyst Laboratory for examination,” she added.
Food joints causing food poisoning or posing public health threat will have their licences suspended. Licence of shops will be temporarily suspended if they are proven to have violated norms. On the increase in number of complaints compared to 2017, she said with the increase in manpower the cases too had grown. This also reflected the effective functioning of squads. The food safety department has registered 47 civil and 27 criminal cases so far this year. It has also received Rs 27 lakh through fines imposed on the defaulters for various violations. The department has deployed a quick response team to handle complaints. A toll-free number - 1800 425 1125 is available to register complaints with the quick action team of the food safety department.