An investigation report released by the police on the recent incident at Nakanyonyi Secondary School in Mukono District has revealed that the food that led to the hospitalization of numerous students did not contain poison, as initially suspected. Instead, the report, disclosed by Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesman Patrick Onyango, indicated that the food had been contaminated.
“Our report shows that nobody put poison in the food. The food instead had contamination in it,” explained Mr. Onyango.
Food contamination refers to the presence of unwanted and potentially harmful substances and materials on food products and raw materials. Samples of the food consumed by the students were sent to the Government Analytical Laboratories for testing after over 150 students were rushed to nearby hospitals on July 20 due to stomach uneasiness.
The school authorities noted that the incident occurred after students had supper on July 19, following which they began experiencing stomachaches. Although painkillers were administered, their conditions worsened on July 20. Fortunately, no fatalities were reported, and the students were treated at hospitals in Naggalama, Mukono, and Kayunga.
The remaining stock of the contaminated food, valued at approximately Shs8 million, is set to be destroyed jointly by the National Environmental Management Authority, Uganda National Bureau of Standards, and Uganda Police Force. The school’s administration plans to renovate and thoroughly clean the storage facility, in addition to fumigating it, before restocking for the upcoming term, as the current term is concluding in a week.
Head teacher Mr. Amos Barongo affirmed the school’s commitment to implementing the recommendations from the report. The report’s findings have brought clarity to the situation, emphasizing contamination rather than deliberate poisoning as the cause of the students’ illness.
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