An anganwadi at Kalluvathukkal, Kottarakara, was closed by the Food Safety department on Saturday following a case of suspected food poisoning.
“Two students had developed symptoms of food poisoning and were hospitalised on Friday. We have inspected the anganwadi and the rice stored there was found to be infested. The people in charge had used the same rice to cook food and it was served to the children. The samples of all items used for cooking were collected and the stock was seized,” said an official. Instructions have been given to shift the students to another unit and the anganwadi will not be allowed to prepare food without clearance from the department.
Reportedly, three students were admitted to the Kottarakara taluk hospital after they developed vomiting, diarrhoea and fatigue on Friday. Though they were discharged by evening, parents and municipality officials on Saturday checked the kitchen and the provision used for preparing the midday meal.
“We found worms in the rice and the staff said they used to cook it after cleaning and drying it in the sun. Nearly, 10 students had developed various health issues during the last couple of days and they all had sought medical help from different hospitals. The reason was found after inspecting the anganwadi and the authorities concerned were alerted immediately,” said D. Ramakrishna Pillai, ward councillor.
The facility was later visited by officials, including Finance Minister and Kottarakara MLA K.N. Balagopal. At present, the condition of all students were stable and two employees of the anganwadi were suspended following the incident.
In Alappuzha, 18 children who consumed mid-day meal at Kayamkulam Town Upper Primary School, Alappuzha, on Friday were hospitalised on Saturday.
Health officials said the incident came to light when a few children approached the hospital with complaints of nausea and diarrhoea. Following this, officials conducted an inspection at the school and collected samples of food and water.
As per preliminary reports, as many as 593 of the 602 students at the school had consumed mid-day meal from the school. The health condition of the children remained stable and they were being closely monitored, officials said.