As many as 870 of 948, or 92% of the ice samples tested by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) across the city were found unfit for consumption. The health department of the BMC undertook a massive drive in May to test ice and water samples from food stalls, hotels, fruit juice centres, dairies, sweetmeat shops, dairies and fast food centres.
The BMC also found 126 of the 476, or 26% of the water samples tested were unfit for consumption. According to the BMC, some of the samples contained Escherichia coli (E-coli) bacteria.
E-coli can cause severe stomach ache, diarrhea and urinary tract infections.
The BMC undertook the drive between May 1 and 31 as a pre-monsoon measure. The onset of rains usually comes with an increase in water-borne diseases.
A senior civic official said, “We want to alert and warn Mumbaikars about these stalls and the various food centres that serve contaminated water. We have destroyed all the material found to be unfit during the inspection.”
The public health department took action against 552 shops and 2,995 hawkers in the drive.
According to BMC data, 100% of the ice samples were found unfit for consumption in some wards. These include the B (P D’Mello road, IR road), C (Kalbadevi, Chira Bazaar), D (Grant road, Tardeo), F/South (Parel) and G/South (Worli) wards in the island city, K/East (Andheri), R/South (Dahisar), N (Ghatkopar) and T (Mulund) wards in the suburbs.
The BMC undertakes these drives as a routine measure before the monsoon. In 2015, the BMC had undertaken a similar exercise where it found 18% of water samples from various food stalls unfit for consumption.
In the A ward of South Mumbai, the BMC found 81% of the water samples tested unfit for consumption.