Tejas Express food poisoning incident: Food quality was ok, but smell of vomit triggered a chain reaction, says Report

AgenciesUpdated: Thursday, May 30, 2019, 02:52 AM IST
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New Delhi: An inquiry into the food poisoning incident on board the Tejas Express has found no problem with the quality of in-house food served by the caterer to passengers. Rather, the report says the unease was triggered after two children vomited, “vitiating the air quality in the a/c coach”.

The report of a Central Railways team insists that the quality of the food served on board the premium train was “satisfactory”. It reveals that the first case of uneasiness was reported after two children in a group from Himachal Pradesh vomited. The smell of vomit triggered a chain reaction and two other children also vomited. This further vitiated the air in the coach and the parents too started feeling uneasy, the report explains.

“After the incident, a few other passengers of C1, C2, C5, C7 coaches who happened to use the vestibule and pass through this coach also complained of uneasiness,” the report adds. A three-member committee comprising senior railway and IRCTC officials was formed after 26 passengers had taken ill on board the Mumbai-bound Tejas Express. The report, accessed by the PTI, said that another tourist group from Kolkata had also complained of uneasiness.

Also Read: Mumbai: 26 Tejas passengers fall sick after breakfast, hospitalised

This group, the tour manager is quoted as saying, had been travelling continuously for the past 16 days and had brought along its own cooks and food ingredients, including fish (Hilsa) from Kolkata. The food was cooked at places where they halted. “He (the tour manager) very clearly and categorically said that there was no problem with the food quality,” the report added. The report, however, didn’t say if the group had had food served on the train or the food they were carrying. It also did not clarify if the smell of the fish triggered the vomiting.

The railways said its officials spoke to 20 passengers and their statements were recorded. In the conclusion, drawn from the statements of the passengers and officials on duty, the report said, it appears the food served “on Tejas Express was of satisfactory quality”. ‘‘He (the Kolkata tour manager) said he had had everything served by waiters but found no problem with the food. Six passengers of his group had fallen ill and were sent to Chiplun hospital,” the report added.

The report also included the statement of a doctor, Sanjay R Nimbalkar, who was travelling with his family and attended to the ill passengers. The doctor in his statement to the railway officials has said he himself had had the food and found no issues with its quality. The PTI independently spoke with Dr. Nimbalkar who confirmed he had found no problem with the quality of the food — bread, egg omelette, mango drink, tea, coffee and mineral water. The report stated that the packaged food served on trains were also checked – soup, poha, cake, bread sticks, kokum sarbat and mango punch – and they were all well within their expiry date. However, it said some passengers had complained about a smell from their omelettes and the “quality of omelettes may be ensured while serving”.

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