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Like ice-candy? Then don't read this
August 10, 2004 08:48 IST
There is bad news for kids who love ice-candy.
A study in Kolkata reveals that the lick-sticks sold across the metropolis are infested with pathogens.
The study was undertaken by the Institute of Wetland Management and Ecological Design and financed by the West Bengal Pollution Control Board.
Researchers picked up 70 varieties of ice-candy from across the metropolis and its suburbs and analysed the contents to find the total bacterial load of the individual samples and the presence of coliform bacteria.
Forty per cent of the samples were found to contain coliform of faecal origin including E.coli strains of the genu Vibrio, Salmonella and Shigella -- microbes that could trigger off an immediate outbreak of gastroenteritis.
Poor handling and storage had also allowed strains of Staphylococcus aurens, which results in food poisoning, to breed freely in about half of the samples collected.
The team said that Kolkata's humid climate was congenial for the growth and propagation of pathogenic bacteria in foodstuff.
As schoolchildren consumed a lot of ice-candy, manufactured under the 'most unhygienic' conditions, during summertime, it could cause a severe public health concern, the team observed.
However, none of the samples tested were found to use non-permitted artificial colouring agents, the study found.
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