In an effort to curb gastrointestinal illnesses weeks before the monsoon hits the city, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will jointly act against the use of contaminated water. In a first, officials from the BMC and FDA will conduct surprise joint inspections of all ice factories in the city on a regular basis till mid-June and individually take action against those who fail to meet the prescribed standards.
Civic officials said that there are around 11 main ice factories in Mumbai in the city zone and the western suburbs.
“There are 11 factories located in six wards. Apart from the officials from FDA, we will send a team, including the ward’s medical officer and collect our own samples. Based on our results, we will file a case against the offenders,” said the executive health officer, Padmaja Keskar. Suresh Annapure, the joint commissioner at the FDA, said that every year, food inspectors randomly collect samples from hotels, street vendors and restaurants to check ice quality.
The procedure of collection and transportation to the laboratory facility has a protocol. “This year, we will inspect samples, along with the BMC, to check whether the procedure of testing is the same and collectively take action against those who carry sub-standard ice samples,” he said.