Thiruvananthapuram: It took the death by food poisoning of a 21-year-old to shake Kerala`s health authorities out of their slumber on the lack of basic hygiene in many eateries across the state. In the past few days, some 50 establishments of varying sizes have been shut across the state for not following minimum standards.All the 20,000 eateries across the state were shut Saturday to protest the health department`s raids.On July 10, 21-year-old Sachin Mathew, a hotel management graduate, bought three `shawarmas` from a restaurant located close to the Congress party headquarters here before boarding a bus for Bangalore.En route to Bangalore that night, he rang up his mother and said he was unwell. From the next day on there was no contact with the parents and on July 14 they got a call from a lodge in Bangalore where he was staying that their son had died.Also on July 10, the son of thespian Thilakan and his family also had `shawarmas` from the same restaurant and they too fell ill and had to be admitted to hospital.A day later the health authorities sealed the restaurant.The health authorities in Kochi have banned the sale of shawarmas for a week.Kerala Hotel and Restaurant Association president Sudheesh Kumar told IANS that sales in hotels have dropped following the incident. The Association had called Saturday`s stir.
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