Food Poisoning-Hotelier Questioned

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   (2012-07-20 00:00:00)

The main accused in the food poisoning case, Abdul Khadar, 50, told the police on Thursday that he had “no clue” how shawarma, a well-liked Arabic meat preparation, sold from his restaurant, Salwa Café’, at Vazhuthacaud resulted in the death of a man and hospitalisation of 10 others due to food poisoning early this week.

Khadar’s much-patronised non-vegetarian restaurant had recently risked infamy after the police and State authorities closed down the establishment on the charge of serving exotic preparations made out of spoiled meat to unsuspecting customers.

Public ire

The restaurant became the focus of public ire after a long-distance traveller, who ate three rolls of shawarma he had allegedly packed from the restaurant for dinner on his night journey on a bus to Bangalore, died in a hospital in the metro city early this week.

Circle Inspector, Museum, T. Mohanan Nair said Khadar daily bought several hundred kilograms of chicken for his restaurant from poultry farms in Nemom. The farm owner delivered the meat dressed and ready to cook.

Khadar told the police that he had instructed his staff not to use leftover meat for the next day’s cooking. Meat was rarely stocked in the restaurant’s refrigerators, he told the police.

The police said they would rely on forensic microbiological investigation of the body fluids of food poisoning victims, their statements and also the statements of the relatives of the deceased man to prosecute the accused.

On Thursday, they arrested four employees of the hotel on the charge of deliberately serving toxic food to citizens under the relevant section of the Indian Penal Code.

Migrant labourers

The accused, most of them migrant labourers, were produced before the court and remanded in judicial custody.