School lunch poisons, hospitalizes 300 kids in northern Vietnam

By Le Hoang   October 5, 2018 | 11:35 pm PT
School lunch poisons, hospitalizes 300 kids in northern Vietnam
Students are taken to hospital after showing symptoms of food poisoning in Ninh Binh Province Friday. Photo by VnExpress/Lam Son
Health authorities are investigating the mass food poisoning of 300 pupils at a primary school in Ninh Binh Province.  

After having lunch, scores of pupils at the Dinh Tien Hoang Primary School started vomiting and suffering from high fever and stomachaches. The school immediately took the pupils to a local hospital for health checks.   

However, the situation quickly worsened with hundreds of pupils following suit. As of Friday night, more than 300 children, a quarter of the school’s 1,300 pupils, were hospitalized and diagnosed with food poisoning, according to local health authorities.

The kids had eaten rice, fried shrimp, tomato soup, and salted shredded chicken for lunch.

Health officials have taken food samples for testing and are investigating the cause of the incident. 

Vu Manh Duong, director of the province’s Health Department, said half of the pupils were discharged Saturday morning.

Those still being treated in the hospital are in stable condition, he said.

Do Van Tu, principal of the school, said around 953 pupils had the school lunch, served for VND15,000 ($0.65), on Friday.

He said all food sources were carefully chosen from reliable suppliers to ensure safety and hygiene.

Mass food poisoning occurs several times every year in Vietnam, and most of the victims are eating from school and factory canteens.

In December last year, 142 pupils at An Phu Primary School in HCMC’s District 2 were hospitalized and diagnosed with gastrointestinal infections. They too, had consumed food served at the school.

The offenders in such incidents are rarely taken to court.

Official government data shows 53 food poisoning cases affected 1,300 people and killed 11 in the first half of this year.

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