14 children fall ill after lunch at Toa Payoh pre-school

An outbreak of gastroenteritis at PCF Sparkletots @ Toa Payoh West-Balestier Block 45 is being investigated by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority and Ministry of Health.
An outbreak of gastroenteritis at PCF Sparkletots @ Toa Payoh West-Balestier Block 45 is being investigated by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority and Ministry of Health.LIANHE ZAOBAO FILE PHOTO

The authorities are investigating after 14 children at a pre-school in Toa Payoh vomited and had diarrhoea after having their lunch on Friday.

The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) and Ministry of Health (MOH) are investigating an outbreak of gastroenteritis at PCF Sparkletots @ Toa Payoh West-Balestier Block 45, said an AVA spokesman yesterday.

The spokesman added that as of Saturday, 14 children were reported to have developed symptoms of gastroenteritis.

A spokesman for the PAP Community Foundation (PCF), which manages the pre-school in question, said that about 40 children ate the same lunch, which was served at 11.15am.

The affected children, aged between three and six, started vomiting from about 3.30pm on Friday. None has been hospitalised.

PCF corporate affairs manager Samuel Ng told The Straits Times that parents of the children who became unwell were informed as soon as possible.

"We remain in close contact with the affected children's parents and will monitor the situation," he said.

NOT INFORMED PROMPTLY

My daughter vomited five more times at the clinic and when she returned home. The school should have contacted us immediately, and not waited two hours.

A PARENT, who said he was informed about the incident at about 5pm. His daughter had vomited thrice by then.

Speaking to Chinese-language daily Lianhe Wanbao, a parent who did not wish to be named said he was informed about the incident at about 5pm on Friday. His daughter had vomited thrice by then.

"My daughter vomited five more times at the clinic and when she returned home. The school should have contacted us immediately, and not waited two hours," he said.

Mr Ng explained that the Sparkletots centre in Toa Payoh West has been using a caterer since Nov 15 last year, after the in-house cook resigned.

PCF did not disclose the name of the caterer.

Mr Ng said that the matter has been reported to the Early Childhood Development Agency and MOH.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 04, 2019, with the headline '14 children fall ill after lunch at Toa Payoh pre-school'. Print Edition | Subscribe