After a “live rat” was allegedly found in a sealed brown bread packet by AIIMS staff from the stock of packets routinely purchased for patients, the institute debarred the manufacturer from participating in any tendering activities of AIIMS for the next three years.
AIIMS authorities had issued a showcause notice to the manufacturer, Bonne Nutrients Private Limited, in September.
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“The live rat was found in a standard two bread pack, that we get from the company, by kitchen staff in the last week of July. By any standards, this is a serious health hazard. So, a showcause notice was issued. They could not submit any satisfactory reply about their packing and sealing conditions and how such a serious error had happened, that too in hospital supplies,” said a senior AIIMS official.
The debarment notice issued by AIIMS to the company last week stated, “A live rat was found on 29.07.2015 in the sealed packet of Brown-Hi Fibre Bread Slice manufactured by M/s Bonn Nutrients Pvt. Ltd. The company has failed to submit a satisfactory reply to the showcause notice dated 09.09.2015.”
The notice added, “The company has also failed to keep up ‘Good Manufacturing Practice’. The quality wing of the company has failed in detecting such an incident before the supplies are packed in cartons.”
Meanwhile, the company has denied the allegations. In an email response sent to The Indian Express on Tuesday, it said, “The sample shown to us had a tampered bottom seal, indicating a clear case of sabotage by some people having vested interests.”
The company added that it was not possible to “pack a live rat in a polythene bag as the sealing of the bag takes place between 170 to 180 degree Celsius”.
“Besides, a live rat cannot survive without air for a long time. We are supplying only two slice pack to AIIMS, which is specially packed for the institute, and not the bread shown on the TV channel,” it said.