RAWALPINDI, Feb 15: The district health department has declared that 21 employees of different bakeries, restaurants and sweet shops in the city are suffering from tuberculosis and hepatitis-C.
District Health Officer (Urban Areas) Dr Ansar Ishaq told Dawn that health experts carried out medical tests of 752 employees and found 15 of them suffering from tuberculosis and six from hepatitis-C.
He said that the health team selected Dhoke Dalal, Commercial Market and Pirwadhai areas.
“All the workers had been provided free of cost medical test facility. The owner of the bakeries had been directed to give them three-month leave with full pay,” he said.
The DHO said that according to labour law, the bakers and confectioners could not sack the employees who were suffering from the illness.
The workers suffering from TB and hepatitis can transmit the diseases to other people. He said that the district health department had started the campaign to ensure provision of quality food items to the people.
Dr Ansar Ishaq said that the health department was doing its level best to control adulteration.
Its teams have sent more than 150 samples of food for laboratory tests and submitted more than 15 challans to the courts concerned.
He also admitted that the adulterants could cause serious diseases like cancer. Under the Punjab Pure Food Rules, 2008, an adulterator could be imprisoned for up to three years and fined up to Rs100,000.
“We can only send the challan to courts because awarding punishment is not within our jurisdiction,” he said.
Plying to another question about how many adulterators had so far been punished, he said that during his tenure a few people had been imprisoned.—Aamir Yasin