‘Snakeskin’ found in parotta parcel in Kerala; restaurant ordered to shut

"We inspected the hotel immediately. It worked in a bad condition. The kitchen did not have sufficient lighting and scrap was seen dumped outside. The outlet was shut at once and a show cause notice served," a food safety officer said.

This image was tweeted by @Tushar_KN

A restaurant in Kerala was ordered to shut down after a customer found a piece of ‘snakeskin’ in a food packet that was ordered from the eatery.

According to reports, Hotel Shalimar in Thiruvananthapuram’s Nedumangad had to pull its shutters down after a woman customer complained.

She had ordered parotta and gravy from the restaurant. When she and her daughter unwrapped the parcelled food, to their shock, found a piece of ‘snakeskin’ stuck to the newspaper that was used to pack the parotta. Later, she filed a complaint at the Nedumangad police station.

Following her complaint, food safety officers inspected the hotel and found the place in “bad condition”.

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According to a report in Indian Express, Arshitha Basheer, food safety officer of the Nedumangad circle, said, “We inspected the hotel immediately. It worked in a bad condition. The kitchen did not have sufficient lighting and scrap was seen dumped outside. The outlet was shut at once and a show-cause notice served”.

“Our preliminary finding is that the dead skin was in the newspaper used for packing the food. The parotta was packed in transparent paper and wrapped around with a newspaper. The skin somehow came into contact with the parotta. The skin piece was half a finger long,” he added.

A Twitter user named Tushar Kant Naik shared the image of the parotta wrapped with ‘snakeskin’ and wrote, “Hotel in Kerala’s Thiruvananthapuram has been temporarily shut after a customer allegedly found a part of a snakeskin packed into her food. The snakeskin was found in the newspaper that was used to pack the parottas, following which the food safety officials were alerted.”

Recently, a 16-year-old girl died of food poisoning after she ate shawarma from an eatery at Cheruvathur in Kasaragod, Kerala. Also, 30 people were hospitalised after eating shawarma from the same place.

Following the complaint in Nedumangad, the authorities raided several other eateries in Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode and took action, according to reports.

“The raids carried out by food inspectors in the districts of Kozhikode and Thiruvananthapuram in various eateries during the last 24 hours have sent shocking findings. The officials seized 150 kg stale and non-consumable meat from various shops in Thiruvananthapuram meant to be served as Shawarma and Arabian food items,” a report in The Pioneer said.

Kerala Hotels and Restaurants Association General Secretary G Jayapal, said that the current situation was due to the absence of a food policy in the state. “We have been requesting the government not to allow the functioning of unauthorised eateries in the state. But the government remains indifferent to this plea,” Jayapal was quoted as saying in the report.

“… but the eateries could store the leftovers of the day in a freezer or refrigerator. The shawarmas and Chinese food sold by these eateries are not made as per the standards prescribed by the food department. There is a difference in the style of cooking in Arab countries, China, and in India. These issues have not been taken into account till date,” he added.

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