Buleleng Police in North Bali has launched an investigation into a mass poisoning incident at a local high school. Over 130 students from SMP Negeri I Atap School were taken to hospitals between the 4th and 5th of June. The police are working alongside the regional health office to understand the source of the poisoning and investigate if any legal action must be taken against the food supplier.
The graduating class of SMP Negeri I Atap School were celebrating their end of the school year and report card grades with a ceremony and lunch. The food was provided by a local restaurant and consisted of traditional ‘bungkus’ wrapped meals. The food wraps contained fried chicken, soy sauce with noodles, white rice, a boiled egg, tomato sauce, pork belly bites, and green beans.
Within hours of consumption, both students and school staff became violently ill. The ceremony came to a close around 12.30 pm on Saturday 4th, and as students returned to their homes symptoms began to kick in. It started with nausea, stomach cramps, and sweats, eventually leading to vomiting and diarrhea.
When symptoms became too much to manage at home, over one hundred students and their families headed to their local hospitals to receive additional support. The President Director of Buleleng General Hospital spoke with reporters to confirm the mass poisoning incident.
Dr. Putu Arya Nugraha shared that 101 patients were checked in by Buleleng General Hospital, that there were 12 patients taken to Paramasidhi Singaraja Hospital, and another 3 to Giri Emas Hospital.
He confirmed that most people were treated with intravenous fluids to prevent dehydration, he said as many as 60 people experienced severe symptoms, and the other 40 patients experienced mild symptoms.
After a night in the hospital, 99 patients were sent home on Sunday morning after their symptoms had been bought under control. One patient remained on the ward for continued observations and one young student is still in the intensive care unit.
Dr. Nugarha shared how those with the most severe symptoms had even gone into shock as a result of dehydration and stress on the body. He said that a 14-year-old boy remains in the intensive care unit and is accompanied by his mother.
He was transferred from the hospital in his village to the Buleleng General Hospital on Saturday night after his condition continued to decline. He is said to be very weak but conscious and continues to experience the very worst symptoms of food poisoning.
The Head of the Buleleng Education Youth and Sports Agency, Made Astika, who oversees many of the schools in Buleleng Regency, is working to coordinate the investigation with the police, health department, hospital, and the school.
When speaking to the press Astika said that he is waiting to hear if the investigation will be granted ‘extraordinary event’ status by the health office. If the extraordinary event status is granted an investigation and remediation process will be fully funded by the local government.
Astika said that once everyone has recovered from the ordeal that he will be visiting the school to remind the children about food hygiene and how to detect if something is wrong with a food venue or a meal.
He explained that he will be telling the students ‘We hope and urge you to return to the cashiers and stakeholders if something is wrong and to be more vigilant in ordering food. In this case, children are often poisoned by eating stale food or food left out for more than 6 hours. This is to be a common concern for the safety of our children’.
He confirmed that the Bali Police Forensic Laboratory has also taken samples of the food and that the local police and health department are also investigating the food provider to establish how health and hygiene standards could have slipped to such a degree. They will establish if the warung needs to be closed down for good.
Plan Your Next Bali Vacation:
Book The Best English Speaking Drivers For Airport Transfers & Tours
Choose From Thousands of Bali Hotels, Resorts, and Hostels with Free Cancellation On Most Properties
For the latest Bali News & Debate Join our Facebook Community
SUBSCRIBE TO NEW POSTS
Enter your email address to subscribe to The Bali Sun’s latest breaking news, straight to your inbox.