NEW DELHI — The bread manufacturer which was yesterday blacklisted by AIIMS authorities after a rat was found inside a sealed packet today accused the premier institute of trying to shift its "act of negligence" onto the company.
Bonn Nutrients claimed that its facility located in Punjab's Ludhiana district is ISO certified and FSSAI approved and follows best industrial practices concerning health, safety and hygiene.
"We wish to assure that the facts as alleged by AIIMS in their notice are imaginary and cannot be possible by any stretch of imagination.
"By the alleged incident perhaps AIIMS has tried to shift its own faults and negligence or acts of sabotage by which perhaps a rat was claimed to be found in the sealed packet," the company said in a statement.
The company said the matter first came to light on July 29 when it was reported that a live rat was allegedly found in a two-slice bread pack within the AIIMS' premises.
On receipt of the notice, the company's representatives rushed to AIIMS and met the officials concerned and clarified that the alleged incident could not have happened at its end for various reasons, the statement said.
"On September 15, to our utter shock and surprise, a showcause notice dated September 9 was received from AIIMS calling upon us to explain the alleged incident.
"The notice was well responded to on September 17 and it was brought to the notice of AIIMS that our manufacturing facility was ISO 22000:2005 certified and FSSAI approved and the contract for pest control is being carried out by one of the most reputed pest control agencies of India," it said.
It was also explained that the sealing of the bread packets take place at a very high temperature of over 170-180 degrees Celsius. No living organism much less a rat could survive at such high temperatures being packed in a plastic packet of only two slices, the company said.
It takes around 18 to 24 hours for a packet to reach retailers or end users and during the transit any such living organism would suffocate, it said.
"We did not receive any communication from AIIMS since then nor any notice of enquiry being carried out by them.
"Our manufacturing facility has stringent GMP and GHP systems in place and we follow the best industrial practices concerning health, safety and hygiene," the company said.
However, AIIMS Medical Superintendent D K Sharma had yesterday said that a complaint in this regard was received on July 29, which was forwarded by professor Govind Makharia of Department of Gastroenterology.
The sealed packed of bread slice in which the live rat was found was taken in custody and the vendor was called for an urgent meeting which was held on July 29.
"After long discussions and deliberations in this matter, the representative of the vendors intimated that long sealing/bottom sealing of the packing material of bread slice was not intact to almost 2-3 inches...and apprehension was that the rat must have entered through this opening somewhere in the transit and needs to be investigated," an AIIMS statement had yesterday said.
Sharma had said that the contract of the company was cancelled on August 5 and the performance security of Rs 25,000 was forfeited.
A show cause notice was issued to it on September 9, reply to which was received on September 17 which was not found satisfactory and thus AIIMS had black listed and debarred the company from AIIMS for a period of three years for dealing in all tenders and contracts etc, he had said.