Home News Education committee ‘gravely concerned’ about rise in food poisoning cases

Education committee ‘gravely concerned’ about rise in food poisoning cases

526

The chairperson of Parliament’s portfolio committee on basic education has noted with ‘grave concern’ an increase in food poisoning among learners who apparently bought snacks from vendors outside of schools and fell ill, the latest incident being at Jan Kempdorp Primary School

There has been an alarming increase in food poisoning cases among learners across the country. Many of the pupils have been hospitalised. File picture: Independent Media

THE CHAIRPERSON of Parliament’s portfolio committee on basic education, Bongiwe Mbinqo-Gigaba, has noted with “grave concern” an increase in food poisoning among learners who apparently bought snacks from vendors outside of schools and fell ill.

Mbinqo-Gigaba said the latest incident brought to her attention concerned nine learners from Jan Kempdorp Primary School, where the Northern Cape Department of Education confirmed that the learners had to get medical assistance and were hospitalised after falling ill after apparently eating chips they bought from street vendors on their way to school on October 23.

ALSO READ: Nine pupils hospitalised for suspected food poisoning

Mbinqo-Gigaba said the latest incident in Jan Kempdorp has shown that there is a concerning increase in the number of food poisoning cases among school learners in the country.

“The portfolio committee has noted with grave concern an increase in food poisoning of learners who have allegedly bought snacks from vendors outside schools and fallen ill. In the latest incident in Jan Kempdorp Primary School in the Northern Cape, a letter was sent to parents informing them of learners who suffered from food poisoning at school after allegedly eating chips they bought in the morning on their way to school. Learners suffered stomach cramps, numbness and headaches. They were taken to hospital and according to the school everything is now under control,” said Mbinqo-Gigaba.

“Last week a Grade 3 learner from Tshepisong in Roodepoort died after allegedly eating biscuits she bought from a local spaza shop. Last month it was reported that 90 learners from Soshanguve in Gauteng were ill and were transported to hospital after allegedly eating “space cookies” bought from a vendor just outside a local school.”

Mbinqo-Gigaba urged parents to be vigilant when purchasing snacks for their children.

“Parents who want to supply their children with snacks should rather buy the snacks for the children themselves. Parents should also ensure that when they do purchase these snacks, they do so from reputable stores.

“These [food poisoning] incidents have become a very worrying trend. Some of the vendors where our vulnerable children buy snacks from seem to be uncaring of the health of our learners.

“Parents need to take heed. Food poisoning is dangerous and we should not play with the health and lives of our future leaders,” Mbinqo-Gigaba said.

Previous articleSiya Kolisi hails Jacques Nienaber’s impact on his and the Springbok team’s rugby journey
Next articleSenzo Meyiwa murder accused was assaulted, tortured in police cells – defence