Philippines: Food poisoning victims hit 112

By Allison Lopez
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 02:01:00 09/23/2008


Source of Article:

MANILA, Philippines – The principal of the Jose Corazon de Jesus Elementary School in Tondo, Manila, Monday said that the number of students who have been treated for symptoms of food poisoning since Saturday morning has gone up to 112.

Trinidad Galang, the school principal, said in a report to the Department of Education that 19 students were hospitalized on Saturday while an additional 93 sought treatment the following day.

As of Monday, 35 students were still confined either at the Jose Reyes Medical Memorial Hospital or a nearby clinic, she added.

The students, who ranged from grades one to five, complained of stomach pains, diarrhea, fever and nausea after eating mais con yelo, egg sandwiches and hot dogs at the school canteen on Friday.

Results of fecal tests done on the children showed that they tested positive for gastroenteritis and amoebiasis.

Meanwhile, Education Secretary Jesli Lapus has ordered DepEd National Capital Region Director Teresita Domalanta to conduct an investigation of the suspected case of food poisoning.

Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim also gave a similar order to city health and education officials.

City schools superintendent Dr. Luisa Quinones said that based on the initial findings of city health officer Dr. Lorraine Sanchez, the school canteen was “clean” and had complied with sanitary requirements.

“In preparing the mais con yelo, they used branded products from the supermarket which were not expired. The water used was found to be safe,” Quinones said, adding that the hot dogs and egg sandwiches were also freshly prepared.

She added that Galang had said in her report that most of the students who were affected lived in areas near a sewer on Reina Regente, with the principal implying that the victims could have ingested contaminated drinking water.

“At this point, I cannot say our school cannot be blamed but because there are no conclusive findings yet, we must look at all angles. The city health department is already coordinating with Maynilad to check the [water] pipes,” Quinones said.

The school canteen will be closed for three to five days while an investigation of the incident is ongoing.



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