By Tissa Kotinkaduwa
During a food raid carried out by the Ja-Ela Urban Council aiming the festive season, five businessmen who had stored and sold food items unsuitable for consumption were charged before the Welisara Magistrate while 13 others were issued severe warnings.
On receiving complaints from the consumers in Ja-Ela area that food items which were stale and unfit for human consumption were being stored by some vendors targeting the forthcoming Christmas and New Year festivities, the Ja-Ela MOHs office jointly with the Ja-Ela UC conducted several raids and took action against the suspects.
In this raid many, wholesale and retail establishments, hotels, bakeries and supermarkets were subjected to a complete inspection by a team of Public Health Inspectors and the areas covered included Ja-Ela Kapuwatte, Weligampitiya, Kandana, Ekala, Tudella and Dandugama.
Ja-Ela senior PHI Anura Abeyrathne said a government owned SATHOSA outlet too was found among the places the raiding party found as an outlet stored with food items unfit for human consumption.
The general public has been warned to be extra careful when purchasing food items in large stocks and to be aware of their quality and if found to be low in quality to lodge a complaint at the Ja-Ela PHIs office
During the raid the officers had come across stocks of potatoes, onions, Maldive fish, sprats and dry fish eaten by rodents.
Stale canned fish in tins, Noodles, Green Peas and Macaroni packets which were stale, and Cake wrapped in polythene and stacked inside refrigerators alongside raw meat, Cheese and Butter were also found in many of these trade stalls.
Dry rations, soft drinks in packets, coconut oil, biscuits which had passed their expiry dates were among the many such items taken into custody by the raiding teams for production in courts.
Stocks of food items which were stale and unfit for human consumption were destroyed at the Ja-Ela garbage incinerator.
The general public has been warned to be extra careful when purchasing food items in large stocks and to be aware of their quality and if found to be low in quality to lodge a complaint at the Ja-Ela PHIs office.
On the instructions of the Ja-Ela PHI Dr Deepa Perera, PHIs Anura Abeyrathne, Ruwan Bandara, Waruna Amarasekera, Pawan Serasinghe and Hasarel Tennakoon jointly conducted this raid.