Mumbai: Even as the state FDA slapped an improvement notice to Poncho Hospitality Private Limited, the promoters of Box8, the firm released a statement on Saturday claiming that the organisers delayed the distribution of the packaged food at the venues of the conference. Around 20 students were hospitalised as hundreds fell victim to food poisoning after consuming ‘stale’ food at the conference.
Suresh Deshmukh, joint commissioner (Konkan) of FDA, said that Box8’s kitchen in Thane had violated some norms prescribed in the Food Safety and Standards Act, and therefore have been given the improvement notice. “If they do not meet the standards within 15 days we will initiate action against them,” said Deshmukh. The violations include hygiene issues near the cooking area and also the clothes worn by the cooks.
The promoters of Box8 claimed that their internal investigation did not reveal any deficiency in preparation, packing or delivery of the food to the venues where the Indian International Model United Nations conferences were held.
“It appears that the organisers delayed distribution of the packaged food at the venue, which might have affected the quality of food,” read their official statement.
Rishabh Shah, the founder of IIMUN, said that there was no storage place in the colleges where the events took place. “We distributed the food as soon as it was delivered. In fact one of the venues, the food was delivered late,” said Shah. One of the other organisers mentioned that they had opted for Box8 only because they claimed that they had multiple kitchens in the city.