Monday, August 1, 2016

Contaminated food cause
Alburquerque poisoning

TAGBILARAN CITY, July 31 (PIA)–-Provincial Health authorities now focus their lectures on proper food handling and hand washing, believing that improper food handling was what caused the food poisoning that downed 31 students of San Roque National High School (SRNHS) in Alburquerque town.

Provincial Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (PESU) of the Provincial Health Office noted that food poisoning caused the illnesses of 31 students, all because of contaminated food prepared for their party. 

Last June 27, Governor Celestino Gallares Memorial Hospital attended to the emergency medical needs of 31 Grade 11 students of SRNHS after they complained of abdominal pains, nausea, diarrhea, fever, headache, telltale signs of food poisoning.

That same day, while the patients were being examined at the hospital, the Provincial Health Office immediately dispatched a team from its PESU) to Alburquerque to conduct an epidemiological study. 

While the PESU team had to take everything in consideration to determine the cause of the illness, they also noticed the patients’ profiles: all were from Grade 11, and the cases were all confined at the SRNHS.

In a radio interview, SRNHS principal identified as Ambrosio Fuerzas, said that he suspects that the food which Grade 11 students prepared for their acquaintance party had something to do with it.

In several food poisoning cases, contaminated water sources are the usual culprits, the PESU immediately collected samples, but went on to zoom in into the food prepared for the acquaintance. 

Succeeding investigations revealed that the grade 11 teachers organized the students in groups and left them to arrange for a group food contribution for the party. 

Food brought to the Grade 11 event include butche-butche, lechon manok, kinilaw nga bangse, sinugba, lumpia, pancit bihon, cutchinta and bread. There was also iced tea, but those who prepared it said they used purified drinking water.

Further investigation revealed that a Grade 11 student bought chicken internal organ as ingredient of the butche-butche, around 4:00PM on Monday and was not able to refrigerate it.

Instead, the student bought three piece of ice for the three kilograms of chicken innards.

The following day, students assigned to cook the butche-butche noticed the smell of the meat, but they washed the innards thoroughly until the smell returned to normal, before cooking it. 

For this, the PHO PESU is now continuing its monitoring on the cases, while they too gave a series of lectures on sanitary food preparation to prevent similar incidents in the future. (rac/PIA-7/Bohol)

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