BANGALORE: It’s been almost 20 days since 46 students from BBMP Girl’s High School in Mathikere fell ill due to suspected food poisoning after consuming breakfast supplied by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), but the civic body is yet to ascertain the reason.
On January 12, students complained of headache and nausea due to alleged food poisoning and were admitted to K C General Hospital. The BBMP authorities had then told they would send food samples to National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) for testing.
However, BBMP chose Institute of Public Health instead of NABL.
According to BBMP Chief Health Officer Dr Manjula, the report from the Institute, was also sent to the BBMP Deputy Commissioner (Health) Y M Ramachandra Murthy ten days ago.
“The report is negative and shows no bacterial growth,” she said.
Murthy, said that they had sent the samples to Institute of Public Health, where the authorities conducted food analysis test on samples of rice and sambar. There was no bacterial growth reported, he added.
The BBMP authorities had then stated that they would release the report withing three days. Though the report was obtained after four days (January 16), it was not released. Also, Murthy denied of the possibilities of water contamination.
“All the children who fell sick had brought water bottles from home. The question of water contamination does not arise,” he said.
ISKCON supplies food to more than 75,000 students, and no other school in the same area had reported such instance, he added. A copy of the report is now with BBMP Commissioner M K Shankarlinge Gowda.
According to Murthy, though the report rules out any bacterial growth in the food samples, there should be some defect which has not been ascertained. “Earlier, they were supposed to send the report to NABL. If the samples were sent to National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories, report would have been genuine,” an official said. Interestingly, none of the councillors have raised the issue in the BBMP council meeting.