120 pre-schoolers in China fall ill after eating cakes at their kindergartens

Medical personnel at Jiangxi Provincial Children's Hospital in Nanchang, Jiangxi province, treating a boy on Wednesday (Sept 6).
Medical personnel at Jiangxi Provincial Children's Hospital in Nanchang, Jiangxi province, treating a boy on Wednesday (Sept 6). PHOTO: CHINA DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

BEIJING (CHINA DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Tainted food has caused 120 children from three kindergartens in Nanchang, Jiangxi province to fall ill.

The case is still under investigation but some believe that the cake served at the kindergartens were to blame.

As of 11.30pm on Tuesday (Sept 5), 120 children had been diagnosed with food poisoning at Jiangxi Provincial Children's Hospital, the city's education authority said on Wednesday.

Of those, 36 were hospitalised, 62 were held for observation and 22 who had mild symptoms were sent home after treatment.

Symptoms included vomiting, dizziness and abdominal pain, but no fever.

Feng Shengzhe, a three-year-old boy, was among the sick children. His father, who declined to give his name, said the boy ate a cake on Tuesday afternoon at the kindergarten and started vomiting at around 5pm before dinner.

"More than 40 children in my son's kindergarten ate the cake, and 10 began vomiting," the father said.

Lian Qinchen, a three-year-old boy from another kindergarten, also started vomiting at around 5pm on Tuesday after eating a cake at his kindergarten, his mother said. The boy was also hospitalised.

By 4pm on Tuesday, no new cases had showed up, but 32 children remained warded for treatment, according to a statement released by the provincial health authorities.

The city's health and education departments said they are working with the police as well as local food and drug authorities to investigate the incident. Parents suspected that the tainted cakes from the same producer were the problem.

"The kindergarten has been buying cakes from a shop which they think are very good," Feng Shengzhe's father said. "I really worry about it, and I will take my son out of the kindergarten when he recovers."

He added that the family will seek compensation from the kindergarten, including medical fees and his loss of income incurred by missing work.

Lian Qinchen's mother said the kindergarten should increase its awareness of food safety.