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493 students fall ill after eating mid-day meal cakes in Mumbai

Total of 654 kids were served the cake,two of them are in Dhanvantari Hospital's intensive unit.

Written by Dipti Sonawala | Mumbai |
November 26, 2013 12:33:56 am

Over 400 children were treated for food poisoning on Monday after they consumed cakes provided under the mid-day meal scheme in a suburban school. Two of them are in Dhanvantari Hospital’s intensive care unit.

The incident at Anjuman Noor-ul-Islam school,Sakinaka,Andheri (East),will put Maharashtra on the top in ter-ms of illness cases recorded due to the mid-day meal. Maharashtra has had 557 cases over the last 10 years,followed by Delhi which has 525. This is the first time such a large number of children has been reported ill from a single school since 2003.

Following a complaint registered by the school,the Sakinaka police arrested four people including Anita Thorat,owner of the agency Parivartan Mahila Mandal that supplied the mid-day meal to the school and the bakery owner who made the cakes. According to the school staff,the cake was distributed at 10 am and students started complaining of giddiness and stomach ache within half an hour. Some started vomiting. By 11.15 am,children were rushed to four hospitals — Paramount,Apex,Dhanvantari and Sant Muktabai Hospital. Two students were sent to civic-run Rajawadi Hospital at Ghatkopar.

“The food was served to the students of the secondary section — Classes V to VIII. As soon as we observed that the students are falling ill,our staff rushed them to hospitals immediately. We had asked few staff to stay back and inform parents. The food was supplied to us by the Mahila Bachat Gatt named Parivartan Mahila Mandal which is run by Anita Thorat. We have filed a police complaint against Thorat’s agency,” said N M Malik,Headmaster of Anjuman Noor-ul-Islam High School.

A total of 654 kids were served the cake. As many as 493 reportedly fell ill and were rushed to hospital. Thorat,who runs the Mahila Bachat Gatt,had in turn ordered the cup cakes from a Kurla-based bakery Al-Fala. She said this was not the first time she had supplied cakes to the school. When asked if she personally checks the quality of food supplied by her agency,she said,“The quality of food supplied by us is very good and this is the first time any such incident has taken place and we too are shocked.”

“They serve cake to the children about twice or thrice every week. We don’t know what went wrong this time that so many children took ill,” said Mehnaz Khan whose daughter Tasneem was admitted to Paramount Hospital. “I had a piece of the cake and started vomiting immediately,” said Tasneem,a Class VII student.

Another student Sayyed Umra,studying in Class V,was initially discharged in the morning but had to be brought back after complaint of severe headache and stomach ache.

According to Dr Latika Shivkar,medical superintendent in Sant Muktabai Hospital,the condition of the children stabilised after they were administered general medication. However,Dr Yogini Firake,director of Dhanvantari Hospital,said two children were admitted to the ICU and are under observation. While 175 kids were taken to Apex Hospital,138 were taken to Dhanvantari and 120 to Paramount Hospital.

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