Gauteng health concerned over rise of food poisoning incidents

Gauteng health concerned over rise of food poisoning incidents

The Gauteng Department of Health (GDoH) has raised concern over the alarming increase in cases of food posioning among especially children.

Two more kids die of ‘food poisoning’ in Gauteng

In the latest incident, 41 children between the ages of 3 to 5 years old, recieved medical treatment at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital on Monday after they allegedly ate rat poison, thinking it was candy.

Out of the 41 children, 17 were admitted for overnight observation, while the remaining 24 were discharged. 

The incident took place at a preschool and investigations are underway.

Gauteng Health spokesperson Khutso Rabothata says later on Monday there was another such incident when 10 people - two adults and 8 children - were referred to the Thelle Mogoerane Regional Hospital in Ekurhuleni.

They came from the Ramokonopi Community Health Centre.

To date, 11 people have died after food borne incidents since October 2023.

According to the department, there have been 863 reported such cases over the past 6-and-a-half months. 

Rabothata says the Department has called on all arms of society, particularly parents and caregivers, to play their part in protecting children from the risk of food poisoning to safeguard their health and prevent further incidents.

"The GDoH's public health mobilisation team continues to drive educational campaigns in communities particularly in the townships, informal settlements, and hostels to educate communities about the dangers of food borne diseases and empower them with food safety tips such as food handling, preparation, storage, the importance of checking food expiry labels and hand washing before handling food. 

"Furthermore, the Department implore community members to play their part and enforce adherence to food safety practices to prevent such incidents in the future and protect the wellbeing of the children."


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