Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala authorities have begun extensive raids across the state after reports that a youth died of suspected food poisoning and a few others fell ill after they consumed a 'shawarma' (meat rolls in paratha) from a restaurant in the capital city.
On July 10, 21-year-old Sachin Mathew, a hotel management graduate, before boarding his bus to Bangalore bought three 'shawarmas' from the restaurant located close to the Congress party headquarters here.
En route to Bangalore that night, he rang up his mother and said he is unwell. From the next day on there was no contact with the parents, and on July 14 they got a call from a hotel in Bangalore where he stayed, that their son had passed away.
The incident led to huge uproar in the state against the health authorities, who now have swung into action and are conducting raids on restaurants across the state to check the quality of food sold in the market. They have sealed three eateries in the capital.
Incidentally, the same day son of thespian actor Thilakan and his family also had 'shawarmas' from the same restaurant and they too fell ill and had to be admitted to hospital.
A day later the health authorities sealed the hotel.
On the suggestion of food safety commissioner, police have registered a complaint against the owner of the restaurant.
Though samples of food from the restaurant have not been taken, the authorities are awaiting the medical reports on those who consumed this food item and were hospitalised.
Incidentally, the police swung into action only after the death of Sachin.
The youth wing of the Communist Party of India-Marxist Tuesday took out a protest march here shouting slogans against the health authorities for not doing their duty, Following this, concerned authorities have started searches at eateries not only in the city but also across the state.