Kozhikode: Those who have put up wayside juice shops and makeshift eateries to make some quick bucks during the summer beware. The owners of the juice and eatery outlets that use polluted water to prepare food items will face the music from the food safety department.
The officials of the food safety department have decided to initiate an extensive drive in the wake of increase in number of cases of waterborne diseases reported in the district. The week-long drive commencing from March 14 will exclusively target juice shops and makeshift eateries. Quality of water being used to prepare food items will be monitored.
Two squads from the food safety department will cover the city and its outskirts. Unlike in the earlier years, this time the department is also considering a proposal to conduct inspections at migrant labour camps to check the quality of drinking water used by them.
The squad will check the source of the water being used to prepare juices, ice creams and quality of ice supplied by local ice manufacturing units to make chilled drinks. The officials will also conduct inspections at ice manufacturing units.
More than 1,000 makeshift eatery outlets have been functioning at the various locations within the corporation limits.
According to the health department, the district registered around more than 4,500 cases of diarrhoea and more than 30 cases of hepatitis A from January 1March 12, 2016. It also reported ten typhoid cases from January 1March 12. In 2015, 135 cases of hepatitis A and 107 cases of typhoid were reported. Also 47,623 cases of diarrhoea were reported in 2015.
Retired additional district medical officer Dr M Shyamala said that consumption of chilled drinks and ice creams prepared using contaminated water often results in one getting waterborne diseases. “The public should not consume juices and water from makeshift eateries during the summer season and use of safe drinking water is the only available remedy to curb waterborne diseases,” she said.
Assistant commissioner of food safety department C T Anil Kumar said, “Water samples will be collected from the juice shops and makeshift eateries to test the quality. The drive has been planned in the wake of increase in the number of waterborne diseases in the district and as part of precautions in the summer season. The eatery outlets and juice shops using contaminated water will be closed down on the spot”. He added that inspections will also be conducted at migrant labour camps to check quality of water. “We will also seek the help of health, local self-government bodies and labour departments in case need arises,” he said.