Primary school students hospitalised after stale mid-day meal

At least 25 children studying in a government school in Andhra Pradesh’s Sri Sathya Sai district were taken ill after having food supplied by school authorities under the Mid-Day Meal scheme. The incident occurred in a municipal primary school in Kadiri.

A total of 121 students attended school on Friday, when they complained that the food served to them was stale.

The school principal instructed the catering agency to supply fresh food to students. Before implementing this change, the agency had already provided stale meals to some of the students.

At least 25 school children took ill. The affected students complained of vomiting and an upset stomach. Initially, eight students were shifted to government hospital Kadiri, after which 17 more students were taken.

District education officer S. V. Krishna Reddy visited the hospital and promised an inquiry and appropriate action against those found negligent.

Interestingly, a new menu under the Mid-Day Meal scheme called Jagananna Gorumudda was introduced on November 21. The government changed the menu to strengthen physical fitness among the students.

As per new norms, the mid-day meals agencies should provide rice, vegetable curry, dal sambar, egg curry, chutney and so on and also provide at least three boiled eggs in a week to the beneficiary students.

In recent months, the two Telugu states have seen a series of incidents wherein students from government schools, especially in residential schools, fall ill after eating food supplied by school authorities.

It has been attributed to poor quality of food items being prepared by the catering agencies given the contract and their negligence while cooking the food.

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