A canteen in the premises of Government Medical College Hospital in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, has come under the scanner of health officials after a customer spotted a dead snake in her breakfast.
The incident happened on Wednesday morning when V. Omana from Nedumangadu and her son were eating a packet of appam and green peas curry they bought from the Medical College Teachers' Co-operative Society canteen. Halfway through the meal, the woman spotted a worm-like creature in the curry. To clarify her doubt, she approached a doctor, who confirmed that it was a small snake.
The woman soon alerted Food Safety officials who rushed to the spot. The food sample and snake have been sent for testing. While investigation is on, authorities have closed down the canteen. "It looked like a worm at first. Later we confirmed that it was a young snake," Chief Food Safety Officer Satish Kumar, told The Times of India.
The Food Safety officials said they are waiting to get the lab results to take further action. "Once we get the lab report, we will file a detailed report to food safety commissioner and Medical College superintend," an official said.
Canteen authorities, on the other hand, claimed it was a plot to close down their canteen. ''How can anyone make such an allegation three or four hours after buying the food? And even before they came back here, media had come to know about it. There is a section here who have been out to get this place closed for sometime now,'' Dr Shanavas, vice-president of the Medical College Teachers' Credit Co-operative Society, told New Indian Express.
Food contamination has been a source of concern among the Kerala Food Safety officials. In April, a millipede was found in a food packet bought from the Indian Coffee House, on the campus of General Hospital in Thiruvananthapuram. In 2012, a millipede was spotted in a cake sold in a bakery near Technopark in the same city. In another incident which took place last October, worms were found in fried chicken at a KFC outlet.
In July 2012, food safety officials had raided hundreds of hotels across Kerala after a Bangalore-based youth died after consuming shawarma, a minced chicken dish, from a hotel in Thiruvananthapuram, the previous day.