The recent death of a three-year-old Indian boy because of food poisoning in Sharjah has raised concerns among residents who have urged the authorities to tighten food safety controls during the ongoing holy month.
Maryan Anthony died on July 28, a day after he was admitted in Al Qasimi Hospital with signs of food poisoning.
The boy started vomiting a few minutes after taking a chicken shawarma the family had bought from a nearby cafeteria around 4.30pm on July 26, his father Anthony Aloysius said.
Speaking to Khaleej Times from India, where the family has gone for Maryan’s funeral, Aloysius said his wife and two sons started feeling pain and vomiting soon after eating the food. They rushed to a private hospital in the night but were told on July 27 to go to Al Qasimi Hospital where the Maryan’s condition worsened every passing hour as he continued vomiting.
The sudden death of their little one has devastated the whole family. “My wife and the nine-year-old son are all struggling to come to terms with the tragedy,” he said. “They had also eaten the shawarma but survived.”
A spokesman of Al Qasimi Hospital said the boy had died of dehydration and respiratory problems caused by food poisoning. His mother and elder brother were discharged after their condition improved.
The authorities concerned are supposed to exercise strict control over restaurants and cafeterias which do not offer fresh food but left-over ones causing serious harm to people’s health, he said.
Santhosh, a family friend, said the parents did not lodge a complaint with the police or the municipality at the time because they were only concerned about repatriating the body to India. When they come back after a week, they intend to pursue the case. “But we were informed that the case will be referred to these authorities automatically from Al Qasimi Hospital, Santhosh said.
In Fact, the case has been referred to the Sharjah Police who said they are currently investigating the case and samples of the food they had consumed are being analysed at the forensic laboratory.
A top official at the Sharjah Municipality said that they had received a report from Al Qasimi Hospital about the food poisoning incident that affected the family and caused the death of the three-year-old child.
The municipality inspectors were immediately sent to the cafeteria and took samples of foods which are being analysed at the Food Control Laboratory.
The officials also inspected the cafeteria to ensure that it was abiding by the health and hygiene conditions.
A report will be issued next week and the restaurant will face tough penalties if found guilty of food poisoning, an official told Khaleej Times.
The municipality has been carrying out inspections of food outlets in the emirate in view of Ramadan to make sure that they are abiding by the regulations.