Food Poisoning: Bakery to take blame if proven wrong

 

Up to 600 chicken cutlets may have been sold on the day six people from four families fell sick in a suspected case of food poisoning after having eaten from a well-known bakery in Sharjah.

By Asma Ali Zain And ?afkar Abdullah

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Published: Thu 26 Apr 2012, 9:27 AM

Last updated: Sun 28 Nov 2021, 3:49 PM

“We are ready to take responsibility if it is proven that the people fell ill after eating snacks from our bakery,” said the owner of the bakery while speaking to Khaleej Times, adding that they have been in the business for the past 25 years. Each day, the bakery produces up to 1,000 cutlets of which majority is sold.

He also accused the families of having kept the food in changing temperatures for a long time. “The weather is becoming warmer and if they took the food to Al Ain, then there is a chance that it may have become spoiled,” he explained.

The owner said that there was also a possibility that the meat sold to them could have been re-packed after reaching its expiry date. “We have no control over this though we ensure that hygienic practices are followed at the bakery,” he added.

Meanwhile, the six people, including four children, admitted to the hospital since Saturday are still under observation.

The affected families said on Wednesday that they would cooperate with the Sharjah Municipality so that action can be taken against the bakery.

“A representative from the bakery visited us at the hospital and said he was sorry,” said Dilip Cherian whose entire family has been hospitalised after eating the cutlets bought from a bakery in Sharjah. “But this is not enough,” he added. Heads of two other families also affected by eating the same snack from the same bakery said they would follow up the issue with the authorities. “I have samples of the snacks,” said Jino Thomas whose two-year-old daughter has been hospitalised. “She is still unable to eat anything,” he added.

As reported on Tuesday, members from four different families fell ill with vomiting and diarrhoea after having the cutlets. While three families became sick after picnicking together, they met another family at hospital which had also eaten the same snack bought from the same bakery on the same day. Four children and two adults, a husband and wife, are still undergoing treatment at Zulekha Hospital.

Sultan Al Muallah, Director General of Sharjah Municipality said that until now the municipality has not received any complaints, either from the police or from the hospital, or the affected families. “Once the municipality receives a report on the case, the department will immediately address the case based on the report provided by the hospital or the complaint from the affected family. The inspector will go to the bakery and carry out inspection procedures. First the municipality will confirm the incident and will start with fines and then closure of the premises and will provide a laboratory report for any further action if required. Since the media took the matter to the municipality, inspectors have intensified campaigns in all restaurants, bakeries and cafeterias to ensure that they are abiding by the health regulation. The municipality’s campaign is being carried out regularly to ensure food safety and prevent poison incidents,” he said.

He pointed out that the municipality has started implementing the trial phase of the Sharjah food safety programme prepared by the municipality. The programme is now being implemented in school canteens and would then be implemented in all food establishments.

Dr Rash Al Qasimi, Director of Health and Environment Department of Sharjah Municipality said the programme includes training and awareness on food safety and hygiene procedures for workers in schools canteens. The municipality will then carry out inspections to ensure that the canteen abides by health regulations. The programme was earlier implemented in many restaurants, cafeterias and bakeries and proved its efficiency. The will be implemented in all food outlets and establishments in summer, including sellers and manufacturers, to ensure food safety and prevent poison cases where mostly children get affected.

asmaalizain@khaleejtimes.com, afkarali@khaleejtimes.com



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