In Pescara 180 children intoxicated in school canteens: the fault of a bacterium present in the meat

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Carlos Laforet Coll
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The food poisoning that has affected over 180 children in Pescara is due to the Campylobacter bacterium present in particular in meat. The alarm had aroused not a little concern, especially due to the widespread diffusion but now the cause has been identified

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The food poisoning that has affected over 180 children in Pescara is due to the Campylobacter bacterium present in particular in meat. The alarm had aroused not a little concern, especially due to the widespread diffusion but now the cause has been identified.





The disturbances have appeared since last Friday especially among children who attended 7 schools in the city. The Pescara Prosecutor's Office has opened a file against unknown persons. Among the intoxicated also six teachers. For this reason, the local health authorities and the carabinieri inspected the cooking center that serves the school canteens of the Adriatic capital, confiscating food and samples.

After excluding the possibility that it was viruses and salmonella, laboratory analyzes ascertained that the illnesses were conducive to the bacterium Campylobacter, whose transmission in humans is due to contaminated foods, especially meat.

Fortunately, it is not serious, it is in fact one of the most common bacterial gastrointestinal diseases, even though 23 children have been hospitalized.

According to reports from the ASL, the bacterium was identified thanks to the analyzes carried out on the samples taken on the first children hospitalized last Friday. This was also confirmed by the fact that antibiotic therapy administered to affected children proved effective against Campylobacter. In total, more than 180 people were intoxicated.

The mayor of Pescara Alessandrini confirmed that the canteen service will remain suspended and promises very severe penalties for those responsible:

"If it is confirmed that the cause of the poisoning is the food consumed at school, the person in charge will no longer be able to work in this municipality" he said. “We are instead certain of what will happen if it is ascertained that there has been an omission by the company that manages the canteen service in the schools of the Municipality of Pescara, or by any other person, who will no longer be able to work in our Municipality. And I am not saying this because I am very angry these days for what happened, but because it is a duty for those children and their families, to whom I am close and I assure every kind of support and right consequential action ".



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