216 hospitalized due to food poisoning

Emmanuel Tupas - The Philippine Star
216 hospitalized due to food poisoning
Stock image of hospital beds.
Image by Silas Camargo Silão from Pixabay

MANILA, Philippines — Up to 216 people were rushed to a hospital due to food poisoning in Esperanza, Agusan del Sur on Monday.

The victims, who recently fled from floods that destroyed their houses, complained of abdominal pains, nausea and vomiting after eating food distributed by a food truck of the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) stationed in Barangay Tandang Sora.

The victims were taken to the Esperanza Medicare Community Hospital for treatment.

The incident prompted Gov. Santiago Cane Jr. to suspend the distribution of meals from the PRC food truck.

“The suspension is necessary pending results of laboratory tests conducted on the victims to ascertain the cause of the alleged poisoning,” Cane said in a letter to PRC provincial chapter administrator Darwina Ligan.

“Given the potential risk to public health posed by the reported cases of food poisoning, we believe it is necessary to take immediate action to ensure the safety of our constituents,” Cane said.

The PRC said it has suspended its hot meal program for flood evacuees until the investigation is complete.

It said PRC volunteers are helping the hospital staff in looking after the victims.

“The PRC remains transparent and will closely coordinate with the local government on this matter,” it said in a statement.

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