A Chilling Incident: Human Finger Allegedly Found in Ice Cream Leads to Shut Down of Manufacturing Unit.

In a shocking and disturbing incident, a 26-year-old doctor from Mumbai, Brendan Ferrao, claimed to have found a piece of human flesh, suspected to be a severed finger, in a butterscotch ice cream cone he had ordered through a food delivery app. This grisly discovery has prompted swift action from the authorities and raised serious concerns about food safety standards.

On June 12, Brendan Ferrao filed a complaint with the Malad police station after making the unsettling discovery in a Yummo’s butterscotch ice cream cone manufactured by Walko QSR Company Pvt Ltd. The police promptly registered a case under sections 272 (adulteration of food or drink), 273 (sale of noxious food or drink), and 336 (act endangering life or personal safety of others) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

The investigation revealed that the ice cream in question was manufactured by a third-party company, Fortune Dairy Industries Private Limited, located in the Indapur taluka of Pune district. This led the authorities to broaden their probe, focusing on the supply chain from the delivery executive to the manufacturing unit.

FSSAI Intervenes and Halts Operations

Responding swiftly to the alarming situation, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) conducted an inspection at the Fortune Dairy Industries premises in Indapur. After a thorough investigation that began on Friday and continued into the early hours of Saturday, the FSSAI ordered the immediate suspension of operations at the facility.

The premises of Fortune Dairy Industries now wear a deserted look, with operations halted and an air of uncertainty looming over the facility and its employees. According to sources, the company employs around 50 skilled workers and 150-160 unskilled workers, along with supervisors and managerial staff. Additionally, the livelihoods of hundreds of milk suppliers who provide the facility with up to two lakh liters of milk daily from nearby districts are also at risk due to this action.

Walko QSR Company’s Response

In a declaration issued on Saturday, Walko QSR Company Pvt Ltd confirmed that the batches of Alphonso Mango Cone (110ml) and Butterscotch Cone (110ml) in question were indeed manufactured by Fortune Dairy Industries Private Limited at their Indapur plant.

While officials from the Indapur police station stated that they have not received any reports of injuries or missing fingers in their jurisdiction, the investigation is ongoing. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in Pune has also taken precautionary measures by visiting an ice cream manufacturing facility owned by Walko in the Hadapsar area. Samples of manufactured products and raw materials have been collected for testing.

Implications and Concerns

This incident has raised serious concerns about food safety standards and the potential consequences of lapses in quality control and hygiene practices. The alleged presence of a human finger in a consumer product is not only disturbing but also poses significant health risks and undermines consumer trust.

As the investigation unfolds, both the authorities and the companies involved must take decisive action to address this issue, implement stricter quality control measures, and ensure that such incidents do not occur in the future. Consumer safety and confidence in the food industry are paramount, and incidents like these serve as a stark reminder of the need for vigilance and accountability throughout the entire supply chain.

Review by Maria Therese Syriac.

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