Gauteng Health tackles rise in food poisoning cases

Published Apr 16, 2024


The Gauteng Department of Health, concerned about the surge in food poisoning cases, particularly affecting children, has launched urgent investigations and community awareness campaigns.

According to spokesperson for MEC for Health, Tshepo Shawa, there had been an increase in reported instances of food poisoning, particularly among children, in recent weeks.

Shawa said yesterday that 41 children between the ages of 3 to 5 years, who allegedly consumed rat poison, mistaking it for candy, were treated at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital on Monday.

“Upon medical examination of the 41 children, a total of 17 were admitted yesterday afternoon at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital for overnight observation, while the remaining 24 were discharged home in a satisfactory condition.

“This incident is reported to have taken place at a pre-school and investigations are being conducted to establish more facts.”

In another food poisoning incident, 10 people (two adults and eight children) were referred to Thelle Mogoerane Regional Hospital in Ekurhuleni, by the Ramokonopi Community Health Centre on Monday.

“The two adults were discharged after receiving medical attention last night, and two children were also discharged this morning (Tuesday) while the six remaining children in the hospital in a stable condition.

“These two incidents bring the total number of the food borne incidents recorded cumulatively to 863 which have sadly claimed 11 lives since the first incident in October 2023.”

The department has called on community members to play their part in protecting children from the hazards of food poisoning.

Shawa added that the Gauteng Department of Health will continue working tirelessly to address food safety concerns and provide the necessary support and resources to affected communities.

“People who experience symptoms like fever, chills, cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, which may be bloody in certain instances, stomach pains, abrupt facial swelling, and body aches or weakness are advised to seek medical attention at the closest health facilities,” he said.

Related Topics:

Department of Health