Youth dies of suspected food poisoning after eating shawarma in Kochi

Rahul D Nair. Photo: Manorama Online

Kochi: A youth died here on Wednesday while undergoing treatment for suspected food poisoning. The deceased is Rahul D Nair (22) of Teekoy in Kottayam. According to hospital authorities, the cause of death can be ascertained only after the test results of Rahul's internal organs come out.

Working in the special financial sector, Rahul was living in Chittethukara with his friends. His relatives said Rahul fell unconscious on October 18 after consuming shawarma (Arabian meat-filled roll) he ordered online from Le Hyatt Hotel in Mavelipuram. After seeking treatment on October 19, Rahul returned to his residence. However, he was admitted to the hospital again on October 22 after he complained of weakness.

A medical bulletin issued by the Sunrise Hospital in Kakkanad said Rahul was brought to the emergency department around 10.30 am on Sunday in a cardiac arrest state. "The patient had a history of fever and loose stools since October 19. The patient was revived, put on the ventilator and was in severe shock. He was under the treatment of a multi-disciplinary team. The patient showed symptoms and signs of severe septicemia and multi-organ dysfunction syndrome. Despite our best efforts, the patient's condition deteriorated and was declared dead on October 25 at 2.55 pm," the medical bulletin stated.

"It is clear there has been poisoning. However, we will have to wait for the test results to ensure whether it was caused by the shawarma. Rahul's kidney and liver had become damaged and he suffered a heart attack," said hospital authorities.

Meanwhile, the Thrikkakara Municipal Corporation closed down the restaurant on the instruction of the health department and police registered a case against its owner. Though the food safety department and the forensic department of the police conducted a joint inspection, they could not collect a sample of the shawarma prepared on that day.

A sample of the food in the restaurant has been sent for testing. Health Minister Veena George has directed the authorities concerned to submit a report immediately.
Rahul's cremation will be held later. He is survived by his father K K Divakaran Nair, mother M P Silvy and siblings Karthik and Bhavya.

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