Hanoi students get poisoned after having chicken infected with bacteria

By Le Nga   March 30, 2023 | 02:43 am PT
Hanoi students get poisoned after having chicken infected with bacteria
Students of Kim Giang Elementary School are treated for food poisoning at Bach Mai Hospital in Hanoi, March 29, 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Le Nga
72 students at a Hanoi elementary school got food poisoning after having chicken meat contaminated with Staphylococcus aureus, health authorities said.

The Hanoi’s Department of Health announced Thursday that 72 students at Kim Giang Elementary School suffered food poisoning after a field trip on Tuesday, as the chicken meat they had for lunch was infected with a bacterium called Staphylococcus aureus.

On Tuesday morning, the school in Thanh Xuan District organized a field trip for 915 first and second graders to Canh Buom Xanh Park in Gia Lam District.

For lunch, the school had the canteen prepare food, including fried rice, fried chicken, fries, sour soup and cookies, and send them along to the park.

The children had lunch at 11 a.m. and during the trip, they also had their own snacks and drinks prepared by their families aside from drinking bottled water provided by the park.

Around 2 p.m. on Tuesday when they returned to school, several students started to have stomach cramps and vomit while two suffered diarrheas.

Three hours later, dozens of others developed symptoms of vomiting, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea. Some also ran a fever.

It was confirmed later by local authorities that a total 72 students had signs of food poisoning and must be admitted to hospitals.

By Thursday, 68 of them have been discharged. The four that are still in hospital are in stable condition.

According to the police, Green Star Food based in Dong Anh District provided the food for the school's canteen.

Both the school's canteen and Green Star Food have legal records of food safety.

As ordered by the Health Department, related units will continue to look into the school's canteen to find out from where the chicken meat had been infected with the bacterium.

The canteen has now been suspended.

According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Staphylococcal (staph) food poisoning is a gastrointestinal illness caused by eating foods contaminated with toxins produced by the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus bacteria.

Staph bacteria are killed by cooking, but the toxins are not destroyed and will still be able to cause illness. Foods that are not cooked after handling, such as sliced meats, puddings, pastries, and sandwiches, are especially risky if contaminated with staph, it said.

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