After the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation found that 70% ice samples collected from street stalls across 24 wards were contaminated with E coli bacteria, it destroyed 1.20 lakh kg of ice in the past few days. E Coli bacteria causes diarrhoea, urinary tract infection, anaemia and even kidney failures.
The highest quantity of contaminated ice was found in M/east ward which includes areas like Deonar, Mankhurd, Govandi and Trombay with 18,500 kg of ice destroyed. It was followed by R south which includes Kandivli, Charkop and Poisar and E ward (Byculla, Chinchpokli, Dockyard Road) where 11,000 kg and 10,800 kg of ice was destroyed respectively.
Among the 916 cases of gastroenteritis — an intestinal infection marked by diarrhoea, cramps, nausea, vomiting and fever — reported in April, 97 cases were reported from Govandi alone. In addition, the BMC also took action against 89 illegal hawkers.
Last week, the BMC also destroyed 2,572 kg of sweets, 9,966 kg of food items, 11,756 litres of beverages and 5,603kg of fruits and vegetables. In two separate operations last month, civic officials from the BMC and officials from the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) of Maharashtra seized more than 23,000kg of ice which was contaminated with E Coli bacteria from Mumbai and Thane.
A separate, year-long survey by the BMC also found the bacteria in 186 water samples. The civic body is conducting house visits and distributing ORS and chlorine pills to spread awareness and reduce the risk of people falling sick.