Four children recovering after suspected food poisoning in Tsakane
Four children aged two, three, six, and nine were in a stable condition in Pholosong Hospital in Tsakane on Wednesday after they were admitted on Tuesday afternoon with suspected food poisoning.
The fifth child, aged six and a grade 1 pupil at Mandlethu Primary School who started vomiting in class allegedly after eating biscuits bought from a spaza shop, was declared dead by paramedics at her school.
The Gauteng health department said since the first food poisoning incident was reported in October last year, there had been 861 such food incidents which have resulted in 11 deaths.
“The department continues to urge people to immediately visit their nearest health facilities for treatment when they present with symptoms such as vomiting, sudden chest pains, body ache/weakness, fever, or foaming at the mouth.”
It said as a precautionary measure, food samples including the biscuits have been collected from the shop and will undergo laboratory investigations to determine if there were any contaminants or other factors that may have contributed to the incident. Blood and urine samples have been taken to the laboratory from the hospitalised children.
The provincial and district outbreak response team conducted a public health education and food safety blitz at the spaza shops in Tsakane to raise awareness and allay public fear regarding alleged food poisoning.
“This is part of ongoing efforts to empower communities on food safety tips such as food handling, preparation, storage, the importance of checking food expiry labels, and hand washing before handling food,” the department said.