Food at wedding poisons 36 guests

Thirty-six people,including seven children,were hospitalised after consuming food at a post-wedding reception party late on Sunday evening.

Written by Express News Service | Mumbai | Published:January 20, 2009 3:27 am

Thirty-six people,including seven children,were hospitalised after consuming food at a post-wedding reception party late on Sunday evening. The joyous mood turned sombre,as the people who had taken ill were rushed to the civic-run R N Cooper hospital.

Of the 36 admitted,there were 20 men,nine women and seven children,authorities said. “I started vomiting and had loose motions as soon as I returned home after the party. Initially,I thought it to be just an upset stomach,but I realised it was a little more complicated when others in my colony too started complaining of the same problems. The korma had smelled bad,” said Feroz Sheikh,one of the patients.

Shakeela,mother of eight-year-old Rashid Sheikh,said “He has been vomiting continuously since 3 am.” The child was admitted to the children’s ward after he complained of nausea and stomach ache.

The reception party was held on Sunday after the wedding had been solemnised on Saturday evening at Andheri’s new chawl behind Noor masjid. “We had invited over 1,800 people for the reception. There was chicken korma,naan,fried rice and dudhi halwa on the menu,and everyone present at the party consumed the food. It was just fate that of the 1,800,only 36 fell ill. We are absolutely fit,” said Nawaz Khan,father of the groom.

Khan,a social worker and trustee of two schools in the area,rushed many,including his wife,to the hospital in the wee hours on Monday.

“The reception started at seven in the evening and got over before midnight. People had already left for home when three people in the same area complained of nausea and started vomiting. Within minutes many others came out with similar complaints. We rushed them to BSES hospital,since it was the closest,and also to Cooper hospital,” said Sayeed Asif,Khan’s brother-in-law.

Meanwhile,the doctors at R N Cooper hospital said the situation is under control. While only two people were kept under observation at the medical intensive care unit (MICU),rest of those admitted,including 7 children and 9 women were termed stable by the hospital.

“Patients have been put on IV fluids after being injected with medicines as soon as they were brought here,said Dr SS Gawde,medical superintendent,Cooper Hospital. “Even those who are serious should be stable very soon,” he added.

Gawde said samples of vomit have been collected and handed over to the police.“We heard that the caterer — Royal Caterer — was a fruit seller before venturing into the catering business. We are not sure if he was licensed to cater to such a large number of people,” said Asif.

When asked,ACP Dilip Suryavanshi (DN Nagar division) said,“We have arrested the caterer and he shall be produced in court as soon as possible. Once we get his custody,we would be in a better position to get details like whether he had a license and how long he has been in this business. Till then,nothing can be said.”

“We have no complaints against the caterer as this is not the first time we have called the caterer,” said Khan.

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