‘Revenge candy’ killed dozens in Pakistan

A Pakistani candy shop owner has confessed to fatally poisoning at least 30 people by lacing his goods with pesticide in an attempt to take revenge on his older brother, police told AFP Friday.

revenge.candyKhalid Mehmood confessed in a court in central Punjab province that he had poisoned the candy after his elder brother Tariq, who owned the candy shop with him, “insulted and abused” him in a business dispute.

“I wanted to teach him a lesson,” police investigator Mohammad Afzal quoted him as saying, with the statement confirmed by another senior police official.

“I was so angry that I mixed the pesticides bottle in the sweets being baked at that time.”

The poisoned batch of candy were bought by a local man who gave them to family and friends celebrating the birth of his grandson.

33 dead after eating insecticide on sweets in Pakistan

Some 33 people including five children have now died in central Pakistan after eating sweets accidentally tainted with insecticide, officials said Sunday.

pakistansweetsgettyimages-471166594The mass poisoning occurred in the Karor Lal Esan area of Punjab province last month.

“The death toll from poisonous sweets has risen to 33 and 13 other victims are still in hospital,” district police chief Muhammad Ali Zia told AFP.

Local resident Umar Hayat bought the baked confectionery on April 17 to distribute among friends and family to celebrate the birth of his grandson.

Police were investigating how the chemicals were introduced into the sweets preparation process, he said.

Police last week said the worker may have inadvertently added pesticide to the sweet mix since there was a pesticide shop close by which was being renovated, and the owner had left his products at the bakery for safe keeping.

Pakistan’s food safety czar declares ‘war’ on unhygienic food

Philip Reeves of NPR’s The Salt blog writes that as soon as the pink-clad Ayesha Mumtaz steps out of her car, word of her arrival spreads along the street like a forest fire. Storekeepers begin shooing away customers, hauling down the shutters, and heading into the shadows in the hope that Mumtaz’s scrutinizing eye will not fall on them.

lahore-2-adb5dcb691d4f1ce4aae4bb6275ee03a966a082b-s1100-c15These traders would sooner lose business than risk a visit from a woman whose campaign to clean up the kitchens and food factories of Pakistan has made her a national celebrity, nicknamed “The Fearless One.”

Today, Mumtaz has come to a crowded alley in Lahore, a city with a long history of producing splendid South Asian cuisine, but with a less distinguished record of worrying about how food reaches the plate.

She is here to fire a fresh volley in her self-declared “war” against unhygienic food, by raiding a backstreet business that makes cakes, sweets and desserts for wholesale. Her target is a crumbling concrete house where the cooking takes place in the yard.

Mumtaz marches through the iron gate and begins rummaging around the big grubby pots and fly-blown cans of gooey liquid that seem to be lying around haphazardly. The place is strewn with dirty containers, grimy rags and rusty tin cans.

“You see the cleanliness of the utensils?” Mumtaz asks scathingly, as she holds up a giant spoon, crusted with filth. She reaches under a bench and hauls out a container littered with moldy scraps of cake.

It is “really horrible” that consumers are unaware the cakes and sweets that they’re buying over the counter are produced amid such squalor, says Mumtaz. She glares at the owner, who watches on in sullen silence.

Six months ago Mumtaz, 38, took over as operations director of the Punjab Food Authority, a government agency tasked with ensuring that the food served to Pakistan’s most populous province is hygienic and unadulterated.

Punjab has a population that is more than double that of California. Lahore, the provincial capital, has a vast array of food outlets, as you’d expect in a city whose relish for food is legendary.

 

Fancy food ain’t safe food, Pakistan edition

The Punjab Food Authority (PFA) raided two five-star hotels in Lahore the other day, as part of its campaign against adulterated food, poor cleanliness and hygiene parameters.

Taipan___Pearl_ContinentalA team headed by PFA Director Ayesha Mumtaz reached the hotels on The Mall and imposed Rs75,000 fine on each of them.

The team first reached the Pearl Continental Hotel and inspected its restaurants’ kitchens. During inspection, the officials found faulty drainage system, storage of leftover meal and a lack of employees/workers’ hand-washing arrangements there.

It also visited the bakery section and found food items of various brands labeled as hotel’s own products, without date of manufacturing and expiry.

The team also inspected the Avari Hotel on The Mall and found inappropriate cleanliness arrangement. It also found disorder in storing/freezing of various food items in the chillers and use of drums at the hotel’s bakery section.

At the kitchen of the hotel’s restaurant a la Carte, the team observed poor cleanliness arrangement and storing of leftover meal.

 

Stale bread lands over 180 children in hospital in Pakistan?

The children sheltered by Pakistan Sweet Homes (PSH), a project of Pakistan Baitul Mal (PBM), were rushed to the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims) for medical treatment. Some of the kids were also taken to Holy Family Hospital in Rawalpindi for treatment.

pakistan.sweet.homesPIMS spokesperson Dr Ayesha Isani said around 185 kids suffering from diarrhea were brought to the hospital’s emergency department at around 10am in the morning. Sixty of them were admitted due to their serious condition while the rest were discharged after preliminary treatment. Ten children were still admitted to the hospital when this report was filed on Sunday evening.

The spokesperson confirmed that the children fell ill as a result of food poisoning. “About 60 per cent suffered from food poisoning but there condition is now stable,” she told the media on Sunday afternoon.

PSH Patron-in-Chief Zamurd Khan told said the children were served bread and milk for breakfast and said they were investigating the issue behind the mass sickness.

PBM Managing Director Barrister Abid Waheed Sheikh said there were around 400 children at the orphanage. “Children who had no symptoms of food poisoning were also taken to Pims and the Holy Family Hospital for a checkup,” he said.

Fancy food ain’t safe food: Pakistan polo edition

 Expired food, chocked sinks and unhygienic conditions in the kitchen and food storage area have exposed high quality standards claimed by the management of a top restaurant located inside the Polo Ground, Race Course Park.

 polo.pakistanThe shocking truth was unveiled after a team of the Punjab Food Authority led by Food Safety Officer Nadeem Haleem visited the restaurant on Thursday evening. The team faced resistance from the management but it managed to enter the kitchen for inspection. In the meantime, the legal adviser of the restaurant came and asked the PFA team not to ask much questions from the kitchen staff.

 PFA officials said the kitchen the eatery, which was considered one of top restaurants, was similar to that an ordinary road-side eatery, dispelling general perception that restaurants serving the elite follow high standards of hygiene and food safety.

Hepatitis A in fresh vegetables a hidden health risk in Pakistan

The purpose of the current study was to evaluate fresh vegetables raised on the fecal contaminated water for the detection of Hepatitis A virus HAV by PCR method. Twenty nine samples were collected from 13 different locations of district Mardan and screened for the presence of HAV.

fieldcropworker_editVillage Bajowro near Takht Bhai was the most contaminated site having HAV in all vegetables grown over there. Water samples collected from this area proved to be contaminated with HAV.
It may be concluded that fecal contaminated water is unsafe for irrigation because of the health risk associated with such practices.

Author: Waleed KhanMuhammad IrshadGauhar RehmanAnwar Hussain
Credits/Source: SpringerPlus 2014, 3:675

20 cops suffered from diarrhea during Sehat Ka Insaaf drive in Pakistan

At least 20 constables suffered from diarrhea and were admitted to hospitals when they eat food during the “Sehat Ka Insaf programme”, hospital sources told The Nation on Monday.

sehat-ka-insaf3They said that district administration has made food arrangements for police constables who were performing duty during the Sehat Ka Insaf programme. Local administration purchased packed food, including piece of chicken and juices from a local backer. After eating the food, majority of constables suffered from diarrhea, they added. 

Yoghurt problems in NZ and Pakistan

Looks like I picked the wrong week to start eating yogurt.

An employee at a hospital in Lahore, Pakistan, died while two employees fell critically ill after they ate contaminated yoghurt.

The three employees ate rice with the contaminated yoghurt at a local restaurant. Soon thereafter, all of them fell sick and were taken to hospital where Khan died. A case has been registered against the restaurant owner and manager.

Biofarm Products of New Zealand is recalling 1 litre containers of Bush Honey Yoghurt with a March 5 best before date after laboratory tests show the presence of E. coli.