Tightening its noose around street vendors and hawkers using contaminated ice, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has destroyed around 120 tonne of such ice blocks under its drive in the last one month, a senior civic official said on Tuesday. The drive was launched last month after civic chief Ajoy Mehta took a review of health measures taken by the BMC ahead of the monsoon season.
"Outbreak of diseases like gastroenteritis and diarrhoea are directly linked to consumption of contaminated water (ice) at restaurants, street food stalls," said the official from health department. "After the review, the commissioner directed ward officials to take cognisance of rising number of cases of diarrhoea and gastroenteritis. We then formed teams along with Food and Drug Administration officials last month," the official said.
The teams inspected stalls set up by street vendors and hawkers and destroyed on spot such contaminated ice, which was stored, the officer added. According to another senior BMC official, the largest quantity of contaminated ice blocks in the city were destroyed in E ward, which included Byculla and Madanpura, followed by Dadar and Shivaji Park areas in G-North ward.
"To test the hygienic level, the civic body conducted a survey and tested ice samples from different areas. It was found that 75 per cent of the samples were contaminated and it contained E.coli (bacteria)," the official added.