The owner and head chef of a restaurant in the southern Indian state of Kerala has been arrested in connection with the death of a customer who was allegedly food poisoned. The nurse was admitted to the hospital on December 30 after eating some grilled chicken and a rice dish that she had ordered online from the restaurant. She passed away from the illness on January 2. The police reported that 21 more people reportedly fell ill after eating at the restaurant. Based on their investigation, the restaurant’s food was of “poor” quality, and the death of the nurse was due to food poisoning. The authorities have now filed charges against both the owner and the cook. They are being detained without having yet answered the charges.

The incident is only one of many in the state to raise doubts about the security of restaurant meals. Instances of food poisoning were also noted last week in other parts of the state. After eating food at a school event, some children and parents in the Pathanamthitta area felt unwell. Since then, food safety authorities have searched more than 500 establishments. 48 restaurants have been shut down for operating without the necessary permits or in an unclean environment. When several people fell ill and a 16-year-old died after eating at a snack bar in the Kasargod area, similar raids were conducted in May 2022. More inspections are likely to happen, according to the authorities.