Salmonella, Shigella bacteria found in Cheruvathur shawarma samples; marked unsafe

Photo: Hakan Tanak/

The presence of Salmonella and Shigella bacteria were found in shawarma and other food samples collected from Cheruvathur in Kasaragod district where a teenager had died of food poisoning last week.

Kerala's Health Minister Veena George said the bacteria causing both infections -- affecting the intestinal tract -- were found in the chicken shawarma samples.

Salmonella bacteria was found in pepper powder samples collected from the eatery -- Ideal Coolbar -- that had been shut following the death of 16-year-old Devananda.

The teenager had died while undergoing treatment at the District Hospital in Kanhangad while at least 31 others who consumed shawarma from the eatery were later kept under observation.

With the confirmation of the lab reports, the minister said that the samples were marked as 'unsafe' as per the food safety act.


Inspections continue in Kerala
As part of a freshly-launched campaign -- -'good food, right of the land' -- at least 349 inspections were conducted throughout Kerala on Saturday.

Action was taken on 32 eateries that were functioning without valid licenses or registration. Meanwhile, notices were served to 119 facilities.

At least 22 kg of stale meat was seized and destroyed (32 samples sent for testing).

The raids on eateries and hotels that began in the state on May 2 have resulted in at least 142 shops being shut. A total of 1,132 inspections have taken place in the last six days. The food safety department has seized at least 162 kg of stale meat over the week.

Operation Malsya & Operation Jaggery
As part of Operation Malsya which was rolled out recently, 6,035 kg of fish that had the presence of chemicals were destroyed. At least 2,014 samples have been sent for testing, informed minister George.

Meanwhile, as part of Operation Jaggery, 458 establishments were inspected and five samples have been collected for testing and six facilities served notices.

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