Around 50 students of Step by Step School in Noida sector 132 fell ill due to suspected food poisoning on Thursday and seven of them had to be hospitalized. The students fell ill after consuming a breakfast of parantha and lassi in the school canteen according to Sanjay Sharma, food inspector for Gautam Budh Nagar’s food department.
Mr. Sanjay Sharma also said that, “The school management had brought in a team of doctors from a private hospital to treat the kids within the school campus. Many kids were treated inside the school campus by a team of doctors. We have not been able to contact the school administration but we have visited the premises of the canteen and collected the oil and ajwaeen used to make paranthas.”
According to the school management, only a few students took ill. The principal of the school, Dr. Mahesh Prasad said, “Some of the students at our school have had mild to severe stomach ache and some have had vomiting. It is unclear as to the cause of the apparent problem.” He also added, “Necessary steps are being taken for the well being of all students. A few students who wanted to go home were sent safely with their parents. The services of Sodexo, the food service provider, have been suspended pending inquiry.”
The school faces an inquiry after allegations emerged that the management stopped a team of inspectors from entering the campus. “We have taken food samples from the canteen for testing and its report will be out soon. We are trying to contact the school administration as of now. Strict action will be taken against the school if found that they had deterred the food inspection team from doing their duty,” said BN Singh, district magistrate, GB Nagar.
Step by Step is a state of the art school where kids are provided breakfast and lunch in the canteen. On December 8, 2016, an additional divisional magistrate court of Gautam Budh Nagar had slapped a fine of Rs 6,25,000 on a private catering company and Rs 25,000 on the then canteen manager of Step by Step School for providing substandard ‘sherbet’ to students.
Meanwhile a spokesperson from Max Healthcare said, “Max Hospital Noida received three children aged 11, 9 and 7 years suffering from suspected food poisoning in the evening today. One child has been discharged after treatment in the emergency room of the hospital and the two other children are presently admitted and are being provided with necessary medical attention.”
The All Noida School Parents Association has said that they will take up the matter with the divisional commissioner to demand action.
“We will meet divisional commissioner Prabhat Kumar and request action against such schools that provide below standard food in their campus. The schools must also have food safety staff who will ensure that right quality food is served to the children,” said K Arunachalam, general secretary, All Noida School Parents Association.