South Africa

Suspected food poisoning, 62 rushed to clinic

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An alleged food poisoning incident sent dozens of learners from two primary schools in the far north of Tshwane to local medical facilities on Thursday.

Twenty-two learners from Tlotlompho primary in Ga-Rankuwa and 40 from Reimolotswe primary in Winterveldt were rushed to local medical facilities after allegedly consuming snacks bought from different hawkers and vendors near the school.

Gauteng department of education (GDE) spokesperson Steve Mabona said the Tlotlompho learners started complaining of pains after consuming the snacks but only four were transferred to hospital.

He said the learners experienced symptoms like vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal cramps and shortness of breath.

“Meanwhile some were released to parental care after medical attention, and those referred to hospital have also been discharged. Necessary medical tests were conducted for investigations.”

The 40 learners from Reimolotswe were rushed to a local medical facility after consuming a snack called “dibombolina” allegedly sold by various hawkers around the school.

Mabona said three were treated then discharged and the remainder showing symptoms associated with diarrhoea, vomiting and headache were transferred to a local hospital and have since been discharged.

He said, fortunately, all were discharged, and only one was admitted.

“Department’s psycho-support officials will be dispatched to both schools for necessary support. We wish all learners a speedy recovery.”

Mabona urged SGBs, parents and the community at large to be vigilant at all times and check all food and snacks sold in and around schools.

“Where it is suspected that the snacks might have expired such information should be reported to the local authorities for necessary action.”

He said schools must work jointly with school safety teams to teach learners about how to adjudicate perishable product safety.

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