NEGROS OCCIDENTAL, Philippines – Thirty-nine pupils and a teacher were rushed to a hospital due to food poisoning in Cauayan town on Wednesday, June 10.
Superintendent Arnel Arpon, chief of Cauayan Municipal Police Station, said that 27 pupils were rushed to the municipal health office and district hospital while the others were treated as outpatients.
Of the 27 hospitalized patients, 6 were brought to Kabankalan City, then to the Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital in Bacolod City.
Arpon said the pupils, aged 7 to 12, bought a “bichockoy,” a local delicacy, from a vendor at Manuling Elementary School during their recess at around10:30 am.
However, they nauseated and experienced stomach pain and headache 30 minutes later. They were rushed to the hospital, he said.
Arpon added that some of the victims only tasted the food and didn’t actually buy it because some of their classmates complained about its rancid taste.
According to the result of the examination by the municipal health center, the food had oxalic, a poisonous crystalline acid.
The vendor, identified as 38-year-old Rosalie Pandacan of Barangay Poblacion, Cauayan, said she bought the food’s ingredients from a market in Kabankalan City on Tuesday.
She was given oxalic, which was supposedly white sugar, Arpon said.
Pandacan is now detained at the Cauayan police station.
Cauayan Mayor Jerry Tabujara said that the municipal government will pay for all the hospital expenses of the victims.
In April, two persons died in Manila after ingesting oxalic acid found in milk tea. – Rappler.com
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