126 Dominican students fall ill at schools despite gov't efforts to resolve food problems(Update 2)

SANTO DOMINGO, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC — Officials say 126 students were sickened Thursday after eating free school breakfasts despite the Dominican government's efforts to resolve past problems with tainted school food.

The latest illnesses occurred at a public school in the southern city of Azua. Nine students ranging in age from 6 to 12 were hospitalized, said Rafael Herasme, a local hospital director.

Education Minister Melanio Walls said samples of subsidized milk, juice and bread served to needy Azua youngsters who later came down with fever and nausea would be analyzed.

The government has been struggling with similar problems since February, when dozens of students fell ill at a school in the country's north. Dozens more in other schools were later sickened.

The Dominican government suspended the subsidized breakfasts in late May but later reinstated them. International health officials were helping to monitor free school breakfasts.

Government officials originally thought milk was to blame for the school illnesses and banned it from meals in late April. But students kept getting sick, and lab tests showed no problems with it.

Read more at the Washington Examiner: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/breaking/126-dominican-students-fall-ill-at-schools-despite-govt-efforts-to-resolve-food-problems-105492093.html#ixzz135iaMw00


More problems with school breakfast

Less than a week after the above incident DR1.com today reported this new case: Food poisoning has affected 10 children in Escuela Mirador Norte in Guaricano, in the north of Santo Domingo. The children experienced stomach pains and vomiting after drinking spoiled milk, as reported in El Dia. The children were taken to the Moscoso Puello public hospital for treatment.

El Dia reports that this is the fifth case of food poisoning in a public school linked to the school breakfast program, with a total of 170 children reportedly affected. President Leonel Fernandez has suggested commercially motivated sabotage, but no evidence has been produced. Instead, news reports repeatedly point to violation of quality controls in the production and handling of the breakfast food. The press reported evidence of inappropriate food handling in that case.

Go back | Date: 31 Oct 2010
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