Chennai Corporation officials went into a huddle after the rumour made the rounds, and began trying to track the source of information. Sanitary inspectors were sent to screen every aspect of the Saligramam Amma canteen in the afternoon, but they found nothing wrong with the food there.
At Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital, a few security guards claimed they’d heard of people being taken to ward 211 after eating at the canteen. However, none of them had seen these people.
In ward 211, there was nobody who had contracted food poisoning from an Amma canteen. Visits to other wards too, proved futile. Chennai
Corporation officials said they were not aware of any such incident.
The civic body has now instructed all zones to speed up measures for the maintenance of Amma canteens. After the introduction of new items on the menu, the already-popular canteens are receiving ever-larger crowds, officials said.
The State government launched the Amma canteens, meant to be budget eateries, in February, to provide healthy food at reasonable prices to slum residents, daily-wage labourers, drivers, load men and migrant workers.
The canteens now offer idli for a rupee, sambar rice, curry-leaf rice, pongal and lemon rice at Rs. 5 and curd rice at Rs. 3.
Private players will soon play a larger role in the upkeep, maintenance and security of Amma canteens, officials said.