40 fall ill in Uttarakhand’s Roorkee after eating buckwheat chapatis

About 40 people fell ill and reported symptoms of food poisoning in the rural belt of Roorkee in Haridwar district after eating chapatis made of buckwheat flour (Kuttu ka atta) on Saturday, officials said Sunday.

Buckwheat flour is considered healthy and pious by devotees who fast on Navratri and do not eat food items made of grains. On the first day of Navratri on Saturday, many people had eaten chapatis made from buckwheat flour. By the evening, many of them complained of food poisoning like symptoms and were rushed to nearby health facilities, officials said.

Forty patients were admitted at the government civil hospital and other private hospitals out of which 20 were discharged on Sunday.

According to Circle Officer, Roorkee, Chandan Singh Bisht traders selling buckwheat flour have been directed to stop selling them and officials concerned are collecting samples from various shops.

Haridwar’s food safety officer Santosh Kumar Yadav said that considering the festive season, the checking of food supplies at the border in particular buckwheat flour sweets, khoya, cheese and other items will be done more intensely.

People should avoid buying buckwheat flour from open sacks and ensure the expiry date is checked before buying, Yadav added.

Officials said that legal action will be taken against violators, and investigation by respective agencies is going on.

“Patients admitted to civil and other hospitals were from Bhagwanpur and Dhandera areas of Roorkee. Legal action will be taken against violators, after an investigation by officials is completed,” said joint magistrate Namami Bansal.

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