A severe bout of food poisoning has afflicted the residential students of NIT Silchar, compelling a significant number to seek urgent medical attention. More than 40 students got the bug, and several students were admitted for essential intravenous treatment due to the intensity of their symptoms, primarily severe diarrhea and resulting dehydration.
In response to this concerning development, the institution’s management swiftly initiated measures to ascertain the underlying cause. Notably, samples were collected for thorough microbial analysis, a step crucial in identifying the specific source and nature of the contamination.
The seriousness of the situation prompted the authorities to involve the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). Officials from FSSAI responded to the distressing situation, visiting the campus to investigate the outbreak and offer their expertise in assessing the food safety protocols in place.
In tandem with these efforts, the Associate Dean of Students’ Welfare at NIT Silchar issued a firm notice, explicitly instructing students to refrain from consuming any fast or street foods from outside the campus premises. This directive, guided by the recommendations of the Health Center’s Medical Officer, aimed to curb any further instances of food-related illnesses among the student population.
A faculty member revealed that a noticeable majority of affected students had partaken in meals procured from food outlets situated beyond the institute’s gates, particularly in Fakirtilla. Consequently, the administration promptly enforced stringent measures, urging students to adhere strictly to mess-provided meals while strictly prohibiting the consumption of any external fast food options.
Additionally, a comprehensive communication effort was made within the student community via various WhatsApp groups. A specific warning was circulated, cautioning against the consumption of Momos from the NIT point, emphasising the direct link to several hospitalizations resulting from severe food poisoning.
A member of the Students’ Gymkhana Body shared, “There is a Momo store at NIT Point and many students go there daily to eat Momos. The day after Diwali, many students went there to eat Momos and what we have noticed is that the students who ate Chicken Momo fell sick.” The student informed that many of them were admitted to Jeevan Jyoti Institute of Medical Sciences under Dr. Amit Kalowar while some even went to Silchar Medical College and Hospital.
Fortunately, since the notice was issued on November 16, there has been a significant improvement in the students’ conditions. Many affected individuals have successfully recuperated from the ordeal, alleviating concerns among the campus community.
This incident underscores the critical importance of vigilance regarding food safety and highlights the potential risks associated with consuming unverified food sources. As investigations continue and with the involvement of regulatory bodies, it remains to be seen how the administration dedicates itself to ensuring the safety and well-being of its students, prioritising measures to prevent any recurrence of such health hazards within the campus premises.
The request for a comment from the Registrar of NIT Silchar did not yield any response.