Spurious flour: One dead, 400 fall ill in N India

A person is reported to have died and over 400 others hospitalised in and around Delhi with suspected food poisoning as they fell ill after eating food items prepared from buckwheat flour.

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: A person is reported to have died and over 400 others hospitalised in and around Delhi with suspected food poisoning as they fell ill after eating food items prepared from kuttu ka atta (buckwheat flour). Reports said 11 people have so far been detained in connection with the large-scale food poisoning incident.

The victims ate the buckwheat flour items to terminate their daylong fast observed as part of Navratri celebrations. In one case, where upto 200 people in east Delhi were taken ill, all had bought the flour, prepared at a mill in Mandawali, from local shops on Monday.

Delhi police are conducting raids across the city. The district administration and food and adulteration department also has started action.

The victims were admitted to Lal Bahadur Shastri Hospital, Hedgewar Hospital, Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital, Jag Pravesh Hospital and a few private hospitals.

The reported death took place at the Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital.

The Uttar Pradesh government had yesterday imposed a ban on sale of `Kitchen` brand buckwheat flour suspected to be contaminated and unsafe.

In Uttar Pradesh, nearly 200 people were reportedly hospitalised after symptoms of gastro-intestinal ailments in Ghaziabad, Muzaffarnagar, Bulandshahr and Budaun districts.

The nine-day fasting period of Navratri started Monday. It also marked the commencement of the New Year as per the Hindu calendar.

Devotees who observe fast during this period do not consume foodgrain or their derivatives, and flour made from the buckwheat is used as an alternative.

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