Probe continues on alleged food poisoning in Asturias, Cebu
11 third-grade students downed in incident
CEBU CITY, Philippines – Investigations continue over the alleged food poisoning that downed at least 11 students in Asturias, Cebu after consuming homemade candies last September 15.
The Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH-7) confirmed that they received reports of suspected food poisoning in Asturias town in northwestern Cebu.
As of the moment, DOH-7 said they are waiting for the laboratory results of samples of the homemade candies that is suspected to be the cause of the food poisoning in Asturias, a third-class municipality located approximately 75 kilometers northwest of Cebu City.
It can be recalled that the local government of Asturias confirmed that 11, third-grade students from an elementary school in Brgy. Manguiao were rushed to a hospital after exhibiting symptoms of food poisoning on September 15.
All of them suffered abdominal pain, vomiting, body weakness, and sunken eyeballs, according to a report from the DOH-7. Fortunately, they recovered and were discharged on the same day.
“This incident has deeply saddened us, as it is our duty to ensure the safety and well-being of our community members, especially our young students,” Asturias Mayor Dana Andrew Dumdum wrote in a statement.
In the meantime, officials both from the local government and national government agency urged residents to practice proper handling of food to prevent similar instances from happening.
“We also urge parents and students to exercise caution when consuming homemade or unfamiliar food products. It is essential to prioritize safety and be vigilant about the sources of such products,” Dumdum said.
The municipality of Asturias also mulled reviewing and conducting food safety regulation inspections in schools.
DOH-7, for its part, instructed stakeholders to seek professional help once they experience or witness others showing signs and symptoms of food poisoning.
These included stomach ache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or fever.
“We urge the public to implement strict sanitation practices such as handwashing, sterilization of utensils, and wearing of food-grade gloves, hairnets, and mouth covers during food preparation,” DOH-7 said.
“It is also advisable to source fresh ingredients from legitimate stores, refrain from mixing cooked and raw foods, and observe proper food storage,” they added.
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