Mangaluru

20 children taken ill after having lunch, recover quickly

Students of St.Joseph's Higher Primary School who suffered from food poisoning were brought by ambulance for treatment to city hospital in Mangalore on Thursday 9th February 2012. Photo: R.Eswarraj

Students of St.Joseph's Higher Primary School who suffered from food poisoning were brought by ambulance for treatment to city hospital in Mangalore on Thursday 9th February 2012. Photo: R.Eswarraj

More than 20 children from St. Joseph's Higher Primary School at Kankanady were admitted to hospital on Thursday following food poisoning. The hospital authorities said all the students had recovered and gone back to their houses in the evening.

According to class 7 student Aysha, some of her classmates complained of stomach ache and vomited an hour after having lunch. “We had rice and rasam around 12.30 p.m. My classmates began feeling sick around 1 p.m.,” she said and added: “I did not eat rice as it did not smell right.”

Ashraf, a flower vendor at the adjoining Kankanady market, said he saw several children sitting on the school ground complaining of stomach ache. “I saw the school staff giving them water. They were waiting for a doctor to come.” Mr. Ashraf said he and a few of his friends moved around 30 children in autorickshaws to the Father Muller Hospital.

Chaos

Confusion prevailed at the school and the hospital as parents and their relatives started to gather in large numbers. Among those who landed at the hospital included parents of students who did not have any complaint. “There is nobody at the school to guide us. I have been asked to get my son checked to avoid complications in the night,” said a 40-year-old construction worker, whose three children study in the school.

With an increase in the number of people at the Out Patient Department, the Father Muller Medical College personnel had to close the gate leading to the OPD. Only children needing treatment were allowed inside. The presence of a large number of people at the school made the children anxious. Many were crying as they were being taken to the hospital. A majority of the school staff were in the hospital's OPD department.

The atmosphere on the school premises became tense when the skeletal staff had to handle queries about the quality of food given to children under the mid-day meal scheme. There were none from the Education Department at the school. People complained about the odd smell of rice and sambar given to children. They wanted the school management to take action against the caterer, who was said to be from Jeppu.

Sister Lillis, Vice-President of Bethany Education Society that runs the school, said there was problem in one container of rice.

As many as 20 children had problems following consumption of mid-day meal. Ms. Lillis said some of the ailing children were also weak. “All have recovered. There is no cause for concern,” she said. Zilla panchayat Chief Executive Officer K.N. Vijay Prakash said Seva Meals, the caterer from Jeppu supplying food to the school, had been given a warning. The caterer had been supplying noon meals to 27 schools in and around Mangalore. Mr. Prakash said the Education Department officials had been asked to collect and test the samples of food supplied to the 27 schools.

“If such incident recur, the contract will be terminated,” he said.


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Printable version | Jul 5, 2022 10:27:46 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Mangalore/20-children-taken-ill-after-having-lunch-recover-quickly/article2878676.ece