BY SILVI WRITER
A latest food safety scandal has sparked outrage on China’s social media as primary school students in southwest China’s populous Sichuan Province suffered ill effects from eating moldy, rotten food.
Some parents at the primary school affiliated to Chengdu No 7 High School Development School posted videos and photos on Tuesday of moldy food, including tomatoes, meat pies and rotten frozen meat in school canteens. They said their children had diarrhea and blood in their stool after eating at the school canteen.
It was reported that a parent discovered the food quality problem after a one-month undercover work in the school canteen after her child suffered long-term loose bowels.
According to posts widely spread on Sina Weibo, the school allegedly served moldy food to students for a long time.
The scandal has sparked outrage on Chinese social media, with netizens slamming the school’s unscrupulousness and urging authorities to investigate and punish the responsible party as soon as possible.
A graduate from the school told the Global Times on Wednesday that the food was always bad in the school and that the school did not allow students to buy take-out food. The school said it would punish the students who bought take-out food.
“The school told us food outside is not safe,” she said.
Local authority said they have launched an investigation and would publish the results soon.
The public security bureau of Wenjiang district in Chengdu, where the school is located, is looking into eight school administrators in connection with the incident, the information office of the Wenjiang district government said on Wednesday.
The district’s market regulation bureau has taken samples of 19 batches of food and sealed up all food at the storeroom and freezer, they said.
The school has ended its relations with its food supplier and will look for a new food supplier under the supervision of parents and authorities, the statements said.
The city’s education authority and Chengdu Administration of Market Regulation have sent work groups to look into the incidents and will publish the results as soon as possible, they said.
“The district government has zero tolerance for food safety incidents and will hold violators responsible, no matter who they are,” they added.
Chengdu No 7 High School Development School has a primary school, middle school, high school and international school, with 140 classes and more than 6,000 students and teachers, according to its website.
The school canteen has been outsourced to Sichuan Deyu Logistics Management Service Co, according to the website Shangyou News. The company’s website was down on Wednesday.
Similar scandals have happened in other parts of the country. In October, the head of a well-known international school in Shanghai was dismissed after health and education authorities confirmed the discovery of moldy tomatoes and onions in a kitchen that prepared food for pupils.
Located in the Pudong area, SMIC Private School is a K-12 school funded by China’s largest semiconductor producer, Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation. It recruits pupils from families of its own workforce as well as from outside the company, and charges tuition fees as high as 120,000 yuan ($17,800) a year.
The food supplier, identified by the health authorities as Shanghai Eurest Food Technologies Service Company, is wholly-owned by the UK-based Compass Group, a global catering service provider.
In response to the problems, the Ministry of Education issued a notice on Monday that people in charge of kindergartens, primary and secondary schools in China should eat with students at school canteens to strengthen the safety of campus food. The notice will take effect on April 1.