LEGAZPI CITY, March 7 (PNA) -- At least 267 kids were brought to the hospital on Sunday after reportedly eating spoiled spaghetti during a local government unit-initiated feeding program in Jose Panganiban town in Camarines Norte, an officer of the Provincial Health Office (PHO) said Monday.
Patrick Reyes, PHO administrative assistant, said in a phone interview that the children, aged 6 to 13 years old, were taken to the Jose Panganiban Hospital (JPH), Labo District Hospital and the Camarines Norte Provincial Hospital (CNPH) in Daet town for medical treatment.
Reyes said the victims complained of abdominal cramps, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness and nausea.
The hundreds of victims from three villages were participants in the yearly feeding program hosted by the Jose Panganiban LGU headed by Mayor Dong Padilla and is held every month of March.
Reyes said that as of 10 a.m. Monday, they had initially recorded 267 children who were either confined and treated for poisoning -- of which, 144 victims were admitted at the JPH, 8 at the CNPH and six at the LDH.
The feeding program has been a yearly nutrition event of the LGU for the past three years, he said.
Quoting a report, Reyes said the food mission (feeding program) that served spaghetti started at about lunch time and ended at around 6 p.m. Sunday.
Health authorities suspected that the spaghetti that was given got easily spoiled, Reyes said.
Other children that were served even brought the food that were packed in a styrofoam to their respective homes and consumed it there.
Reyes said health authorities are currently investigating the incident and have already gathered samples of the food served and the stools of the victims for laboratory examination. (PNA) FFC/FGS/MSA/CBD