The PFA raided the shop and seized the counterfeit drinks
Three Pakistani girls have died after consuming a counterfeit poisonous cold drink at a wedding in Arifwala village near Punjab’s Pakpattan district.
A fourth girl is in a critical condition after having the contaminated drink on Wednesday, July 24, 2019.
At the wedding party, the four girls had the soft drink, unaware that it was contaminated. They soon felt dizzy and eventually went unconscious.
They were rushed to a nearby hospital where three of the girls were pronounced dead.
The girls were identified as six-year-old Mariah, Fatima, aged five, and Misha, also the same age.
Six-year-old Saira was taken to DHQ Hospital in Sahiwal in a critical condition. She underwent medical treatment and remains in hospital.
Following the incident, the Punjab Food Authority (PFA) was alerted about the contaminated drinks.
Officials from the PFA went to the shop where the drinks were sold. However, the shopkeeper was not there.
According to police officers, the shopkeeper took his family and went on the run in an attempt to escape arrest.
Officers are currently searching for him.
The PFA raided the shop and seized the counterfeit drinks so that they could be examined to determine what was in them.
The deaths of the three Pakistani girls has resulted in Pakpattan’s Deputy Commissioner Ahmed Kamal to take notice of the incident.
The Tribune reported that he directed the relevant authorities to submit a detailed report to him.
The PFA has been taking action against food business operators by following the directions of the Punjab government.
In early July 2019, the PFA uncovered and shut down two factories manufacturing fake carbonated drinks.
The authority seized 56,772 litres of counterfeit soft drinks in two separate raids in the Wagah and Haloki areas.
The production of contaminated drinks in Pakistan has been ongoing. Authorities in Punjab have shut down five factories, which produce drinks.
They were closed on suspicion of counterfeiting soft drink brands.
An enforcement operation was conducted by the PFA. They found 1,344 litres of “hazardous” juice, 525 litres of bogus drinks and 5,300 empty boxes.
Production equipment and counterfeit labels were also discovered. The PFA stated that it discarded “a huge quantity of loose colours and chemicals”.
PFA Director General Muhammad Usman explained that the authority had closed down a factory in Muridke.
It was shut on suspicion of refilling the bottles of different soft drink brands with their own product. Their products contained a mixture of chemicals and contaminated water.