Cañete's Institute of Civil Defense (Indeci) in Peru is reporting that more than 600 school-aged children have suffered food poisoning after consuming food from a state-subsidized feeding program.
Minister of Social Inclusion, Liliana La Rosa, confirmed the cases of poisoning, adding that the victims' aged from six and 12 years old were beneficiaries of a government food program, Qali Warma. Some of the symptoms experienced by the children were abdominal pain and nausea.
As a result, some of the instances took place in half-a-dozen schools across the city, which is located about 110 kilometers from the capital of the country.
The Indeci report detailed the various conditions of the hundreds of affected children, ranging from hospitalization to outpatient treatment, stating that some 620 cases had been recorded. La Rosa said about 17 children remained to be observed overnight while the others had been discharged.
Qali Warma Director Mario Ríos announced that the company which supplied the food that was consumed by the children had raided, and samples seized and will be subjected to testing.
The authorities also said the incidents were under investigation.
The Qali Warma feeding program is included in 63,000 kindergarten and primary level institutions and has served 3,700,000 children over three years in Peru. Some high school students, in the Amazon, are also served by the program.