Children hospitalised due to suspected food poisoning; worm-infested rice seized from Anganwadi 

Police collect information from Kayamkulam hospital (left), Police seizes spoiled rice from anganwadi in Kottarakkara (right) | Screengrab: Mathrubhumi

Alappuzha: Children were hospitalised due to suspected food poisoning at Kayamkulam in Alappuzha and Kottarakkara in Kollam. A total of 12 students studying in Kayamkulam Town UP School and four others from Kalluvathukkal Anganwadi were hospitalised on Friday.

It is learnt that the children in Kayamkulam school complained of food poisoning after consuming meals distributed at the school on Friday. The students with the symptoms of vomiting and diarrhoea were admitted to a nearby hospital on the same day evening. The health condition of the children is satisfactory as of now. The health department of the municipality has initiated an investigation over the incident.

According to reports Eight students of a government upper primary school here in Alappuzha district were admitted to a hospital nearby on Saturday after they complained of uneasiness due to a suspected case of food poisoning.

Police said a few students went to the government hospital on Friday evening itself while others reached today.

"They are all under treatment. The doctors said their condition is stable," police told PTI.

Police said 575 people, including students and teachers, had the mid-day meal from the school on Friday.

"There are 650 students studying in the school. Yesterday, including teachers and students, 575 people had the mid-day meal from the school. Only eight of them have complained so far," police said.

Meanwhile, four children who returned from an Anganwadi in Kalluvathukkal were also rushed to the hospital on Friday after showing symptoms of food poisoning. The children informed their parents that they have not eaten anything from outside other than the food served from Anganwadi. Following this, the parents inspected the Anganwadi and found worms-infested rice in the store. The municipality officials and health department raided the Anganwadi based on the complaint received from the parents.

State Health Minister Veena George has asked the Food Safety Commissioner to look into both the incidents and file a report.

"We need to find out whether the food poisoning happened inside the school or not. Also, we need to inspect whether the materials procured by the staff locally are of good quality or not," a senior official from the food safety department said.

Sources in the health department said the samples have been collected from both the places and testing will be conducted at the government food testing lab.

(with inputs from PTI)

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