Beyond Metros, Health, Odisha

34 students hospitalised in Odisha after dead caterpillars in mid-day meal

A government-run upper primary school in Odisha’s Kendrapara district saw as many as 34 of its students hospitalised after a mid-day meal curry contained dead caterpillars.

The incident took place at Arteswar upper primary school in Jagannathpur village and the food was thrown away after one of the students found the dead insects in the curry.

“The food was thrown away in the backyard of the school,” said its headmistress Jayanti Panda.

The damage though had already been done, as soon after, students started vomiting and complaining of loose motions. School officials said the students were admitted to Derabish community health centre and later shifted to Kendrapara district headquarters hospital.

Majority of the students admitted at the hospital later recovered and were discharged. “However, we have kept three children under medical observation. Intake of contaminated food resulted in their sickness,” said Chief District Medical Officer, Niranjan Swain, confirming the food poisoning.

“The food served to the students was either stale or unfit for human consumption,” Swain said.

“Officials are making on-the-spot investigation of the incident. Those found responsible for serving substandard contaminated food will be taken to task,” said district education officer Sangram Sahoo.

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