More than 70 students of a government primary school in Lucknow fell ill after consuming milk served with the mid-day meal here on Wednesday following which the district magistrate ordered a magisterial probe. The city magistrate will conduct the inquiry and submit the report within three days’ time.
“More than 50 students were admitted to Cantonment Hospital after consuming milk. All of them are out of danger. Milk samples have been collected and city magistrate has been directed to conduct an inquiry into the matter,” said District Magistrate Raj Shekhar.
Lucknow Chief Development Officer Yogesh Kumar said all the children have been discharged “following due care and medication” and will join their classes Thursday.
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The incident took place at R A Bazar Primary School in Cantonment area around 11 am when the children were served 200ml pouch of flavoured milk supplied by the Parag Dairy. Swastik Dubey, a student of Class IV , said, “About 16 of my classmates consumed the milk and their stomach started aching severely. We then informed our class teacher”. One of Dubey’s classmates, Deepak Kumar, said, “The milk tasted bitter”.
The children were rushed to the Cantonment hospital, even as angry parents flocked the school and allegedly broke the windshield of the supply van, before moving to the hospital.
Dr S C Joshi, the resident medical officer at the Cantonment hospital, said the children complained of stomach ache and headache while some were also vomiting. “Only a few of the nearly 60 cases we received were severe,” Joshi said.
Meanwhile, CDO Yogesh Kumar sought an explanation from the general manager of Parag Dairy in Lucknow. “As per the Dairy, 12,000 pouches of 200 ml each were supplied Wednesday morning to Akshay Patra, which handles the mid-day meal programme. The The milk was collected this (Wednesday) morning and was duly pasteurised before being packaged. The problem did not crop up for all 12,000 pouches…only for a specific school, which is a matter of investigation,” Kumar said, adding the pasteurised milk is consumable till 10 hours if it is kept at room temperature.
The DM later asked the chief food inspector to collect the milk samples and send them for laboratory tests. “We will initiate further action based on the test report,” the DM said.
Chief Executive Officer of Lucknow Cantonment Board N V Satyanarayana said it was for the first time that milk was served in government schools in Lucknow Cantt area.
Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav had last month announced the introduction of milk as part of the mid-day meal diet, wherein it is to be served once a week.