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School dinner catastrophe

School Dinner Catastrophe

By Lucy Westlake, Peniel Mushinge, Maddison Lazell and Lucy Satterford

2,262 children, in eight schools in Egypt, were admitted to hospital after a mass food poisoning in Sohag last week. Most children left the hospital by last Tuesday 14 March.

Egypt has a very poor record of food poisoning. This has happened many times before. Such as the one in Al Ibrahimya that infected over 600 people.

We interviewed Carol, one of the Rainham Mark Grammar School dinner staff about the issue and she told us that a bad food supplier may have been giving the school contaminated or diseased food.  Also, cross contamination at the schools may have been taking place during the preparation of the children’s food.

We asked Carol how the dinner staff at Rainham Mark Grammar School prevent these sort of things from happening, and she explained that, “Here in the canteen, we regularly have cleaning checks and reports, environmental health checks and all dinner staff have to go under thorough training to be able to serve food at the school”. We also asked Carol about how the dinner staff at Rainham Mark make sure that their hygiene is up to today’s standards. She replied by saying, “We make sure that correct temperatures are used to store food and we regularly check our food suppliers to check that their food is safe to eat. We check the expiry dates for our food, for mould and other things that could be possibly wrong with the products.”

In severe cases of food poisoning, individuals may require hydration with intravenous fluids at a hospital. In the worst cases the children developed symptoms after eating the school meals provided as a part of a government food programme for school children.

The governor of Sohag suspended the food programme pending the outcome of the analysis.

Some symptons of food poisoning are: diarrhoea, abdominal pain and muscle aches, weakness, loss of appetite, high temperature, chills, nausea and vomiting.

Most cases of food poisoning are not severe and can be treated by staying at home, resting and keeping properly hydrated.


A PDF of this article is attached

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