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Schools Urged to Contain and Prevent Food Poisoning

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CHIANG RAI – Director-General Sopon Mekthon of the Department of Disease Control (DDC) has urged schools to enforce sanitary measures, in wake of 4,000 cases of student food poisoning found during the first half of this month.

Sopon Mekthon has said that the Department of Disease Control is monitoring food poisoning cases of students in schools and during field trips.

He has said that the department is working with the Office of the Basic Education Commission (OBEC) to inform all teachers in the school on the prevention measures to food poisoning.

The prevention measures include a school staff supervision of food sanitary procedures, and the regular check of quality and expiration date of milk products, including proper food storage. All donated food to schools both canned and cooked must pass quality tests before being served.

During field trips or camps, schools are advised to buy food from restaurants or vendors with the Clean Food Good Taste certification. Food packaged in foam boxes should separate the meal from the rice in plastic bags and should be consumed within 4 hours.

Sanitary procedures such as eating hot cooked food, using serving spoon, and washing hands, should be encouraged by the school officials in order for students to adopt this measure as their habit, and schools should be able to handle cases of food poisoning, by providing first aid, patient transfer, coordination and communication with medical personnel when a case occurs, said the DDC Director-General.

According to the statistics from the Bureau of Epidemiology, 133,946 food poisoning cases have been reported in 2014. There were no fatalities. The most common age group for food poisoning is 15-24 years.

4,181 cases have already been reported during 1-19 January 2015 with students as the largest group of patients.

Last September more than a hundred hill tribe students at a primary school in Tambon Chiang Dao  of Chiang Dao district, Chiang Main were admitted to Chiang Rai hospital yesterday after students said they felt dizzy and vomited after taking  lunch.

And in July a 12 year old Hmong boarding school student died from food poising while 159 other students are recovering in Chiang Rai’s Mae Fa Luang district at Ban Hmong Kao Lang School after the students were given boxes of chicken on oily rice as part of a merit-making ceremony.

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