Wedding banquet doesn't go down well with 500 guests

Celebrations at a wedding reception in Bandra (East) were cut short early yesterday morning, when several guests started complaining of upset stomachs and uneasiness from the dinner they had been served that night. For the remainder of the day, half the guests who had attended 24-year-old Abdul Sayyed Shaikh’s reception had to be sent to hospitals for treatment.

The food that mattered: Many of the guests complained of nausea, while others complained of diarrhoea, stomach ache and dizziness were admitted at Bhabha Hospital in Bandra

The reception was held on Saturday night at Bharat Nagar on Bandra Kurla Complex Road and was attended by more than 1,000 invitees, of which about 500 fell sick. Dinner had been served between 10 pm and midnight, following which all the guests retired to their homes. Things started going sour when, about two hours after having dined at the reception, guests started waking from their fresh slumber, with sweaty faces and all other telltale signs of a meal that hadn’t quite gone down well.

Food for thought: A sample of the food that was served to the guests at the wedding reception

Many of the guests complained of nausea, while others complained of diarrhoea, stomach ache and dizziness. At daybreak, Bhabha Hospital in Bandra (West), Sion Hospital, and other private hospitals in the area started receiving a slew of patients with food poisoning, all of whom had attended the same wedding reception. Dr Wadekar, medical superintendent of Bhabha Hospital, said, “In total, 148 people have been admitted here since morning, of which 46 have been admitted. The rest have been treated and discharged. There haven’t been any serious cases, and all patients are in a stable condition. A primary examination revealed that the food poisoning was caused by food served at a wedding. Since it was a Sunday, I had to call in doctors who were off-duty, so that all the patients could be treated.”

All's well? A doctor at Bhabha Hospital examines the victims, while police officers speak to the victims at the hospital

There were around 250 children in the wedding party, of which 30 received treatment. Sheikh Bilal (25), a guest and resident of Bharat Nagar, said, “Dinner was served at around 10 pm, after which people went back home. At around 2 am, my one-and-a-half-year old daughter started vomiting. She threw up at least 10-15 times in two hours, and I took her to Bhabha Hospital. She is stable now. I also heard that other guests at the reception had similar reactions to the food,” he added.

The reception took place on the fifth day of the wedding celebrations, and the same caterer had prepared food for all days. He was subsequently arrested. Abdul Shaikh (26), another guest who ate at the reception, was unaffected by the food. He said, “The same caterer has been serving us food ever since the celebrations began. It is only last night that something probably went wrong with one of the dishes.”  He added, “Of the 1,000 people who attended the reception, about half were affected by the food, while others escaped. This is strange, because we all ate the same food.”

Sheikh Mossin (22), who received treatment for food poisoning at Bhabha Hospital, said, “I ate my dinner like everybody else and went home. At around 3 am, I started feeling uneasy, and my stomach started aching. I felt sick, and I came to the hospital at 6 am. I saw that other guests from the previous night had already reached.” Chandrakant Bhosale, senior inspector of BKC police station, said, “All affected people are admitted to Bhabha Hospital.” He further said, “We arrested Yusuf Ali Ahmed Khan (49), the proprietor of Taibba Caterer, under Section 284 (negligent conduct with respect to poisonous substance), 337 (causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others), 338 (causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others).”  

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