After a month-long survey during which most hotels, street vendors and restaurants across the city were found to be using contaminated ice, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has written to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for action against the errant units.
“We have written to the FDA since the matter is under their jurisdiction. Ice is considered part of the food category,” said Idzes Kundan, additional municipal commissioner.
In May, the BMC had found e-coli bacteria in all the ice samples they collected from Sandhurst Road, Kalbadevi, Grant Road, Matunga, Dadar, Andheri East, Ghatkopar, Mulund and Kandivli West’s hotels, food hawkers and restaurants.
Of the 948 samples collected from hotels, fast food chains and restaurants, e-coli bacteria was present in 92 per cent (870) across the city. Of the 476 samples collected from street food vendors, e-coli bacteria was present in 126. The bacteria is primarily responsible for spreading gastroenteritis infection, which is on the rise in the city. According to FDA’s Mumbai district joint commissioner, the BMC complaint letter has not been received so far.
“We are, however, inspecting the quality of ice with food stalls and suppliers on our own. Recently, action has been taken against eight proprietors,” said Suresh Annapure, joint commissioner, FDA.
The FDA can prosecute hotel owners, dealers, vendors and distributors of ice if it finds the samples sub-standard or contaminated. All these eight cases had been about contaminated ice samples.