Food Safety officials continued raids of hotels in cities and towns across Kerala State on the second day on Wednesday for detection of low quality food items. Altogether 60 hotels were ordered to be closed and 300 hotels were served notices seeking improvement in quality and standards. The raids covered 700 hotels on Tuesday and 60 hotels on Wednesday .
The raids come in the wake of the death of a youth in Bangalore allegedly after he consumed 'shawarma' from a hotel in Thiruvananthapuram. Health Minister V. S. Sivakumar told a press conference in Thiruvananthapuram that the Food Safety and Standards Act would be enforced strongly in the State.
Sivakumar said that Act provided for payment of compensation in case of harm from food poisoning. In case of death from food poisoning, the owner of the establishment that supplied the food item would be liable to pay a compensation of up to Rs. 5 lakh to the next of kin. In case of poisoning that could be fatal, the compensation can go up to Rs. 3 lakh. In other cases, it would be up to Rs. 1 lakh.
He said that the customers should demand and keep bills from hotels, as these could be important evidence for preferring the claim. District level food safety officers should be contacted on the toll free number 1800 425 1125 in case of food poisoning.
The Minister said that the government had organised more than 3,000 awareness classes on the Act since August last year. Hundreds of establishments were issued improvement notices as the law was new. Those hotels that failed to comply with the norms would be closed down.
In Ernakulam district raids were held in as many as 550 hotels and 39 were asked to close down and 253 were served notice.
In Kozhikode raids were held in 40 hotels . Two hotels, Broast restaurant in Kottuli and Arabian Dines in Annie Hall road were closed down.
In Munnar raids were held in 15 hotels and three were served notice. In Kollam raids were held in 35 hotels and in Kannur and Thalassery in 15. In Malappuram 32 hotels were served notice, 6 in Palakkad and four in Wayanad were given notice.
The hotels ordered to be closed (after giving improvement notices) in Thiruvananthapuram were Hotel Meena, Hotel Lekshmi and Hotel Devi at the General Hospital junction and Hotel Radhakrishna at Medical College Junction and Hotel Coffee Bar on the Chalakuzhi Road.