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Food safety agency asks probe into Nha Trang student death of suspected food poisoning

Food safety agency asks probe into Nha Trang student death of suspected food poisoning

Saturday, April 06, 2024, 14:59 GMT+7
Food safety agency asks probe into Nha Trang student death of suspected food poisoning
This image shows the area in front of Vinh Truong Elementary School in Nha Trang City, Khanh Hoa Province, south-central Vietnam, April 5, 2024 after a schoolgirl died of suspected food poisoning following her breakfast outside the school. Tran Hoai Bao / Tuoi Tre

Vietnamese food safety authorities are investigating the death of a schoolgirl on Friday and the hospitalization of over 30 students from two schools in Nha Trang City, the capital of Khanh Hoa Province, due to suspected food poisoning.

The Department of Food Safety under the Vietnamese Ministry of Health on Friday issued a dispatch requesting the provincial Department of Health to launch an investigation to clarify the death of a grade-5 student who died after having a breakfast outside the campus on Friday morning.

According to Nha Trang authorities, the schoolgirl from Vinh Truong Elementary School displayed symptoms of food poisoning around 7:00 am in class, feeling fatigued and faint before being transported to the provincial General Hospital.

Local authorities reported that doctors attributed the victim's death to "out-of-hospital respiratory arrest of unknown cause."

Within half an hour, many other students began exhibiting symptoms such as stomach pain, vomiting, and headaches.

School staff promptly administered first aid before transporting 16 students to the General Hospital and three others to Tam Tri Nha Trang General Hospital.

At Tran Hung Dao Middle School, situated in Nha Trang, 12 students were taken to nearby hospitals on Friday due to symptoms of food poisoning, local authorities said.

On Friday afternoon, the school's principal disclosed that these suspected food poisoning cases were part of a group of 38 students who had breakfast at the eatery situated in front of the school.

The school reported that the majority of the students stated they had consumed chicken rice, bread with shredded chicken, and fried egg bread from the caterer.

Khanh Hoa Province General Hospital (left) is where doctors reported the unfortunate death of a schoolgirl from Vinh Truong Elementary School in Nha Trang City, stating that she passed away outside the hospital due to unknown causes. Photo: Phan Song Ngan / Tuoi Tre

Khanh Hoa Province General Hospital (left) is where doctors reported the unfortunate death of a schoolgirl from Vinh Truong Elementary School in Nha Trang City, stating that she passed away outside the hospital due to unknown causes. Photo: Phan Song Ngan / Tuoi Tre

As of Friday night, 28 students from the two schools were still receiving care and treatment at hospitals in Nha Trang, while three others had been discharged, the Khanh Hoa Department of Health said.

Nha Trang leaders paid a visit to the family of the deceased schoolgirl to offer condolences and provide support in arranging her funeral.

The Department of Food Safety has urged the provincial health department to instruct relevant hospitals to utilize all available resources to treat the sick students.

The department should collaborate with relevant agencies to conduct a thorough investigation and determine the cause of the incident, the department said.

They should work alongside schools and local authorities to enhance food safety measures both within and around school premises, and take decisive action to identify and address any violations of food safety regulations.

Recently, Nha Trang has witnessed several cases of food poisoning, with the most recent incident occurring at Nguyen Van Troi High School. Ten students were hospitalized after consuming chicken rice and spaghetti purchased from a vendor near the school on March 29.

In mid-March, nearly 370 people were hospitalized for food poisoning after consuming chicken rice at Tram Anh Restaurant located on Ba Trieu Street in the city.

Tests conducted by the Nha Trang Pasteur Institute revealed that samples of water and food obtained from the restaurant were contaminated with bacterial pathogens including Salmonella spp, Bacillus cereus, and Staphylococcus aureus, among others.

In November 2022, close to 650 students and staff members of iSchool Nha Trang – an international school in Nha Trang – were hospitalized following lunch, resulting in one fatality.

The cause of the poisoning was determined to be Salmonella bacteria detected in chicken wings.

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Vinh Tho - Duong Lieu - Phan Song Ngan / Tuoi Tre News

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