Staff Reporter

Thiruvananthapuram: The food samples collected for laboratory tests from Sri Ayyankali Memorial Residential Sports School at Vellayani, after a suspected food-poisoning episode there last week, have been found to be “bacteriologically not satisfactory,” the district health administration said here on Monday.

The laboratory tests confirmed that it was food poisoning and not just fever. The fever was a result of bacterial infection from food, officials said.

As many as 138 children from the school were taken to the Government Medical College, Sree Avittom Tirunal and General hospitals following symptoms of food poisoning on June 21. While only a few of them had gastric problems, almost all had fever. Most of the children were discharged the next day.

Unhealthy curry

The health administration officials said the tests had found the samples of chickpea (‘kadala’) curry served for dinner and breakfast unsafe for consumption.

The drinking-water samples collected were found to be lacking in quality. The water had an acid content higher than normal, which could cause problems in the long run, they added.

The district health administration officials visited the school following the food poisoning episode. “The kitchen was not clean at all and food was prepared in very unhygienic settings. The area where cooking utensils and vessels were cleaned was stinking extremely. We have already submitted our report to the senior officials in the Health and Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe departments,” a senior official said.