Two children on the West Rand have died after apparently eating poisonous food obtained at a taxi rank on Wednesday night.
The incident comes days after two children in Naledi, Soweto died, allegedly after eating biscuits from a foreign-owned spaza shop.
News of the latest incident was also confirmed by the Gauteng Department of Health yesterday (Thursday).
“The Gauteng Department of Health would like to confirm another incident of food poisoning which occurred on Wednesday, 04 October where four boys, aged 2, 3, 4, and 6 years, from West Rand district, allegedly consumed sweets and chips (obtained) from a vendor at West Deep in Westonaria.
“Sadly, this resulted in two of the boys (2 and 3 years of age) being declared dead on arrival in Bekkersdal West Community Healthcare,” the department said.
The latest incident brings the number of death from food bought from vendors to four.
The department said the other young children, aged 4 and 6 years, have since been transferred to Leratong Hospital for observation and further management and are reported to be in a stable condition.
“The department has since offered trauma counselling services to the affected families. The recent tragedy brings to four the number of children who died from food poisoning related incidents in as many days. We would like to pass heartfelt condolences to the families that have lost their loved ones and also wish speedy recovery to those who are currently admitted to hospitals,” the department added.
Provincial Police Commissioner Elias Mawela said police investigations were under way to determine the cause of death.
"Two children bought some food. Unfortunately, we have lost those two children. The other three who were treated and discharged, they're going to help us to look for the people who sold the food to them,“ he said.
The department said it had since the first incident deployed health and environmental officials to affected areas. This is in a bid to educate and create awareness over correct ways of dealing with symptoms of food poisoning and handling of food.
This is a developing story.