In a recent blow to food hygiene and safety practices, 12 school kids fell sick after consuming detergent and soap powder mixed mid-day meal in a government primary school in North Bengal's Dinajpur district on Saturday. The initial probe by the district administration revealed that the cook mixed detergent powder instead of salt by mistake.
The students of Chilimpur Primary School consumed 'Khichuri' (meant to be made with rice and pulses) in their mid-day meal. Soon after consuming food, the students felt uneasiness and stomach pain. They were immediately shifted to the Itahar rural hospital for medical treatment.
Parents Protested On School Premises
According to official reports, all the students have been announced to be out of danger. Of 12 students, 11 have been discharged, and one student is still under observation by the medical team. The incident has questioned the alertness of the school administration over food hygiene practices.
Following the incident, the parents of the children created an uproar in the area and started protesting on the school premises. The parents even locked the school's main gate so that no one could escape the premises.
The joint block development officer-in-charge of the local police station, Manebendra Saha, rushed to the school after learning about the incident and brought the situation under control. The administration conducted an investigation in which they found that it was the cook's mistake to mix the detergent powder in the food instead of salt.
After completing the initial investigation of the matter, the officer said, "The cook has been removed from duty. We are taking the matter seriously. Fortunately, all the kids are currently out of danger," IndiaTV reported.
Several Instances That Surfaced In Past
The incident is not limited to West Bengal; several instances in which food safety and hygiene practices were violated. In a shocking incident, a lizard was found in a mid-day meal served at a school in Uttar Pradesh's Muzzafarnagar. Around 30 students were hospitalised after they consumed the contaminated food. After a thorough investigation, the principal and several management members were suspended.
In another instance, rotten eggs with warms were served to the children during the mid-day meal at a school in Tamil Nadu. Students complained about uneasiness and discomfort after consuming the food. The eggs were distributed to the students as part of the mid-day meal scheme.
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