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Shawarma and Food Poisoning: A Lethal Combination

Shawarma and Food Poisoning: A Lethal Combination

Recent incidents in 2024 have highlighted food poisoning cases related to shawarma consumption in India.


Shawarma, a popular street food enjoyed by many, has recently been linked to tragic incidents of food poisoning in Kerala and across India. In this article, we delve into the details of these cases, explore the potential causes, and discuss measures to prevent such occurrences.

Recent Incidents

1. Devananda’s Case in Kasaragod

  • Date: May 1, 2022
  • Location: Kasaragod, Kerala
  • Victim: Devananda (16)
  • Incident: Devananda died, and over 40 others were hospitalized after eating chicken shawarma from Ideal Food Point. The cause was identified as shigella bacteria.
  • Preventive Measures: Regular food safety inspections and stringent hygiene practices are essential to prevent such outbreaks.

2. Rahul D. Nair’s Case in Kochi

  • Date: October 25, 2023
  • Location: Kochi, Kerala
  • Victim: Rahul D. Nair (22) from Teekoy, Kottayam
  • Incident: Rahul fell unconscious after consuming shawarma ordered online from Le Hyatt Hotel in Mavelipuram. He sought treatment but was admitted to the hospital again due to weakness. Despite medical efforts, he succumbed to severe septicemia and multi-organ dysfunction syndrome.
  • Investigation: Authorities closed the restaurant, and police initiated a case against its owner. The food safety department and forensic experts conducted a joint inspection but couldn’t collect a sample of the shawarma prepared on that day. A sample from the restaurant was sent for testing.

3. Mumbai, Goregaon (East)

  • Date: April 29, 2024
  • Incident: Twelve people were hospitalized after consuming chicken shawarma in Mumbai’s Goregaon area. While nine of them were discharged, three others are still undergoing treatment. The incident occurred at Satellite Tower in Santosh Nagar.

4. Mumbai, Trombay

  • Date: May 3, 2024
  • Incident: A 19-year-old man died after eating chicken shawarma bought from a stall in Mumbai’s Trombay area. Two vendors were arrested in connection with this incident.

Shawarma Safety Measures

  1. Source Verification: Ensure that shawarma outlets adhere to food safety standards and source their ingredients from reputable suppliers.
  2. Hygiene Practices: Proper handwashing, clean utensils, and safe food handling are crucial.
  3. Storage and Temperature Control: Maintain proper storage conditions to prevent bacterial growth.
  4. Regular Inspections: Regular health department inspections can identify potential risks.
  5. Awareness: Educate consumers about safe food practices.


While shawarma remains a beloved street food, vigilance and responsible practices are necessary to prevent food poisoning incidents. Let’s prioritize food safety to protect lives and enjoy our favourite treats without fear.

Remember, a delicious meal should never come at the cost of health and well-being.

Editorial Team

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