57 students suffer food poisoning as school conditions continue to deteriorate
Education Minister Mahmoud Abou el-Nasr - YOUM7/Amr Moustafa

CAIRO: 57 student suffered from food poisoning after ingesting unsound school meals at Nagaa Al- Damoky Primary School in Nagaa al-Nagar, Sohag on Wednesday.

Security forces went to school food store for investigations, and formed a health committee to take milk samples for examination. The prosecution requested that the student’s parents be called to notify them of the children’s health conditions on Thursday.

The prosecution decided to call the food vendor and suspended the activities of the school food store.

Minister of Education Mahmoud Abou el-Nasr said, during a phone call to Al-Medan television program, that it will order the increase of the validity period of school meals from three days to one week, stating that the ministry is set to go forth with increasing the budget from 864 million EGP to 8 billion EGP to increase the quality of school meals.

Abou el-Nasr further accepted responsibility for the incident, adding that punitive measures are being taken against anyone responsible. He stated that the cause of the food poisoning was due to poor storage conditions, attributing this to negligence and corruption.

The incident is indicative of a wider context of increasingly deteriorating conditions in schools, whereby it came less than 24 hours after a similar incident, in which 14 students at the Azhari Institute of Al-Kady were also hit by food poisoning, and have been held in Tahta General Hospital in Sohag, according to Al-Mougaz.

Further, Al-Masry Al-Youm reported that 11 children were suspected of having food poisoning after consuming packaged milk in a school in Zarqa, Damietta on Wednesday.

The children were transferred to Zarqa Hospital and the necessary measures were taken to treat the cases of food poisoning.

Director of the hospital Salim Taha said that 9 cases have left the hospital after receiving the necessary treatment and recovering, and two cases remain under observation.

Reporting by Amr Khalaf and Mahmoud Muqbil.

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