BEIJING (AP) — Nearly 300 Chinese primary and middle school students have been sickened by unsafe food or water provided by their schools in five separate incidents over the past week, state media said Thursday.
The rash of food poisoning cases coincides with the start of the new school year.
The latest case occurred Wednesday in Shandong province, affecting 86 primary school students who became ill after eating lunch, the official Xinhua News Agency said. Ten remained under observation in hospitals Thursday, it said, and authorities were testing the school’s food for problems.
Four other cases affecting 205 kids were reported in Hebei and Jiangxi provinces in the past week, Xinhua said.
China’s food safety record has been battered by the rampant use of illegal or substandard additives by unscrupulous food producers. Milk powder laced with the industrial chemical melamine killed at least six children and sickened 300,000 in 2008. Producers added the nitrogen-rich melamine powder so their milk would seem higher in protein.
But accidental contamination is also a problem, caused by low hygiene standards, particularly in rural areas, and weak quality control by regulators.
Other Reports from China Local News Report
A TOTAL of 23 preschool children were sent to hospital following what authorities suspect was a food poisoning case at a kindergarten in east China’s Jiangxi Province on Tuesday, the local government said yesterday.
The children began vomiting about an hour after eating a lunch of rice and jelly noodles at the Red Star Kindergarten in Ducheng Township in the city of Gao’an, the city government said in a press release.
It said the children also had biscuits as a morning snack.
As of 9am yesterday, 16 of the children were still under observation at the People’s Hospital in Gao’an and seven others were at a local traditional Chinese medicine hospital. All were in a stable condition.
Several suspected food poisoning cases in China’s schools have been reported since the start of the new semester on September 1.
Authorities in northern China’s Hebei Province are investigating two cases that affected a total of 162 students.
Suspected food poisoning put 27 primary school children in Yutian County of Tangshan in hospital from September 1-6.
Meanwhile, contaminated water has been blamed for sickening 135 middle school students in Longhua County.
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