After having lunch, scores of students at the Dinh Tien Hoang Primary School started vomiting and suffering from high fever and stomachaches. The school immediately took the students to a local hospital for health checks.
However, the situation quickly worsened with hundreds of students following suit. As of Friday night, more than 300 children, a quarter of the school’s 1,300 students, were hospitalized and diagnosed with food poisoning, according to local health authorities.
The children had eaten rice, fried shrimp, tomato soup, and salted shredded chicken for lunch.
Health officials have taken food samples for testing and are investigating the cause of the incident.
Vu Manh Duong, director of the province’s Health Department, said half of the students were discharged Saturday morning.
Those still being treated in the hospital are in stable condition, he said.
Do Van Tu, principal of the school, said around 953 students had the school lunch, served for VND15,000 ($0.65), on Friday.
He said all food sources were carefully chosen from reliable suppliers to ensure safety and hygiene.
Mass food poisoning occurs several times every year in Vietnam, and most of the victims are eating from school and factory canteens.
In December last year, 142 students at An Phu Primary School in HCMC’s District 2 were hospitalized and diagnosed with gastrointestinal infections. They too, had consumed food served at the school.
The offenders in such incidents are rarely taken to court.
Official government data shows 53 food poisoning cases affected 1,300 people and killed 11 in the first half of this year.
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