Orphans' lunch poisoned them

08 November 2013 - 02:46 By Graeme Hosken

A Pretoria toddler was among 16 young orphans hospitalised with suspected food poisoning yesterday.

The children, who are cared for at the Malerato Centre for Hope, in Mamelodi, were having lunch when they started vomiting.

Five of them were rushed to hospital in a serious condition. One young boy was flown to a Johannesburg hospital.

The orphanage is home to abandoned children and children whose parents have died of Aids.

Orphanage head Johanna Mashapa said the children, aged between two and seven, were having sausage rolls and egg sandwiches for lunch when they became ill.

Mashapa said the 16 affected children were among 42 housed at the centre.

"This is the first time something like this has happened," Mashapa said.

"We're so worried. We're praying that the little ones recover quickly."

Life-support paramedic Andy Gill said the source of the poison had not been established .