As many as 133 students of the Symbiosis Infotech Campus at Hinjewadi were hospitalised early on Wednesday morning following complaints of food poisoning. The students who had taken lunch from the college mess were taken to five hospitals — 76 to Aditya Birla Memorial Hospital and rest to Ratna Hospital, Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital, Kotbagi Hospital and Medi-Point Hospital.
The campus houses the Symbiosis Centre of Management and Human Resources Development (SCMHRD), Symbiosis Institute of International Business (SIIB) and Symbiosis Centre for Information Technology (SCIT),
The Pune police have arrested Prabhakar Shetty of Tamanna Hotel who had taken the catering contract from Symbiosis for providing meals to students at the hostel mess. A team of Hinjewadi police and senior police officers, including Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone III) Mahesh Patil, visited the Symbiosis hostel and the hospitals.
Patil said Shetty had been arrested under Sections 273 (sale of noxious food or drink), 336 (Act of endangering life or personal safety of others) of Indian Penal Code. A complaint has been registered at the Hinjewadi police station.
Dr Rajiv Yerawadekar, dean, Symbiosis Institute of Health Sciences, said, “The students fell ill after food poisoning. The source is not known and will be clear only after the FDA report.”
He said all the students were stable now. The food in the mess is periodically tested in the in-house health centre. “There are strict instructions to cook fresh food everyday.”
Sanjay Patil, joint commissioner of Food and Drugs Administration (FDA), said their team had conducted an inspection of the hostel as well as three hospitals.
“We were unable to get the samples of food. But we have taken samples of the raw material such as noodles that were used to cook the food. The samples have been sent for tests. The report will come in two weeks.”
He added, “Prima facie, we feel that the catering contractor is responsible for it. The FDA would be issuing a notice to cancel the licence of this contractor.”
Meanwhile, the students were reluctant to talk. “We had food at the college mess on Tuesday afternoon and it comprised sprouts, curd and pulao. By evening, many of us started feeling uneasy; some were shivering and some developed fever. As hours passed, it became clear that most of the students are showing symptoms of food poisoning. We were shifted to various hospitals early on Wednesday morning. We have no complaints against the institute,” one of them said.
I have conducted the survey of few premier institutions related to the food safety in the hostel mess and canteen and found wokers and authority are ignorent.Dient pattern in India and such institution is changed and 15 to 25% food items are raw and eaten as such. Most of the the raw vegetables are originated from periurban area there these contaminants are spreading through the swewage water and undecomosed fecul matter.Population of these contaminants increased many fold if they are stored at higher temperatures and long duration. These serve as reservior of contaminants to even cooked food and other stored food thought the utensils, knife, water etc. I consider it is lesson for all the institutions where majority of student taking their food at a place should follow the standard practices. Special care should be taken for the raw vegetable used as salad and grain sprouts. We offer free consultency to such organisation.
This university enjoys wide popularity especially overseas and it goes without saying that people strive hard to get their adolescents admitted in this prestigious institute. This incident may well damage their reputation & authorities concerned needs to act swiftly...enough to convince the new entrants..Best wishes to the management.