Food not cause of death

2017-04-11 17:18

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It is still unclear what caused the death of two children in Philippi, but it was not the chicken they ate.

Police are investigating a case of suspected poisoning after seven people, including four children, were rushed to hospital. First reports had it that they suffered from food poisoning after eating chicken bought from a local vendor.

Two of the children died while the other two remain in a serious condition at Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital.

Two of the adults were taken to Mitchell’s Plain district hospital while another was taken to Groote Schuur for treatment.

One of the adults was later discharged from Mitchell’s Plain hospital.

On Monday last week, they were rushed to hospital after eating what is suspected to be contaminated or poisonous food.

Provincial health’s Emergency Medical Services responded to the incident.

“The [department] alerted police, environmental health and the City of Cape Town’s disaster risk management team to coordinate and investigate the circumstances around the poisonous food,” says Darren Francis, provincial health department spokesperson.

City officials released the results of their investigation on Friday. The investigation included a visit to the house, the vendor where the chicken was bought and the farm that sold the live chicken.

Members of the City’s bacteriological lab concluded that “there were not sufficiently high enough levels of bacterial organisms to cause illness or death. The City’s environmental health department can therefore confirm that the chicken was safe for consumption when bought”.

The samples tested include the remaining chicken, which was still frozen, and the gravy which remained in the pot after the meal was eaten.

None of the cooked chicken was available for testing as this was all consumed.

The City’s investigators found no cause for concern about how the chicken was reared and stored.

“This is a very tragic incident and our condolences go out to the family who have lost two young children,” says JP Smith, Mayco member for safety and security, and social services.

“I know that there are many questions that require answers and I assure the family and the community at large that the City will do everything possible to expedite the aspects of the investigation that fall within our mandate to help bring closure for the family during this very difficult time.”

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