Food poisoning affects around 175 School children

Surajpur (Chhattisgarh): More than 175 children are undergoing treatment under the care of district administration after the children of Navodaya Vidyalaya based at Basebei village were affected by food poisoning. District collector confirms situation under control. Meanwhile, the samples have been taken and have been for testing. The final reason for food poisoning would be known after the reports are available.

The village Basdei is situated at around 3 kilometres from Surajpur district headquarters. On Sunday morning, Home Minister Ramsevak Paikra visited the ailing children and took stock of the situation. At present in the school, which has been converted into medical cam, two health teams from Surajpur and Ambikapur are attending the ill children. There is remarkable improvement in the condition of the children as per the medical team.

As per reports, Navodaya Vidyalaya has strength of 576 children. It has 6 houses while two houses are for girls and four House are for boys. The school administration on occasion of Holi festival (March 2) has prepared a special feast for the children. As per information received during afternoon hours for lunch, ‘matar-paneer’, ‘dahi-bada’, ‘gulab-jamun’, puri, ‘fried-cabbage’ among others were served. As per available reports, the remaining food materials mainly the ‘matar-paneer’, ‘dahi-bada’, ‘gulab-jamun’ were consumed by children and staff during dinner also.

School management stated that during night hours, the condition of children and staff started to deteriorate after 2.00 am as they started to vomit. Navodaya Vidyalaya Principal D K Sahu stated that food poisoning information was provided to the district administration. On direction of Collector and Chief Medical and Health Officer, the Block Medical Officer and Dr Rohit Patel and Dr Navneet Dubey converted the school rooms as camp for primary treatment. The children were also shifted to primary health centre but when situation started to get out of control, around 42 children were also shifted to district hospital while two critical children were shifted to Ambikapur Medical College for further treatment. Collector K C Devsenapati, CEO Sanjeev Jha among other senior officials have been regularly monitoring the situation.

After the food poisoning was reported, the food samples were taken by Food and Drug Administration Department. The samples were being sent for testing to Raipur. According to Jeetendra Nele, Food Safety Officer (Surajpur) the sample of food had been taken and it has been sent for testing. The sample of ‘gulab jamun’ by estimated test is reported to be normal but the sample has also been sent for testing. The suspicion is over the ‘Paneer’, which might have caused the food poisoning. The school administration might have prepared the food in morning hours and left over might have been consumed during the night hours. Such long period might have caused changes in ‘paneer’, which might be reason for food poisoning. But confirmation can be made only after sample test report arrives. Meanwhile, local sources said that the school administration had purchased ‘paneer’ and curd from local shop.

Surajpur Collector Devsenapati when contacted told that the situation is under control and it is turning normal. Around 4-5 critical students are undergoing treatment as they are being administered drip while around 50 had fever and 70-80 students were having affected by vomiting-loose motion are also returning to normal. Most of the students have been discharged from hospital.

He added that the curd and other milk items were purchased from the market. As precautionary method, the purchase of milk products should have been avoided during the festival season as most of them have been found to be adulterated. In this case also, the reason for food poisoning might be also adulteration of milk product. He further assured that by tomorrow the situation would be normal.