Lizard in an idli served at a government women's college hostel landed 65 students in hospital at Chennai
CHENNAI,July25: A lizard in an idli served at a government women’s college hostel landed 65 students in the hospital late on Sunday night.
Students of Quaid-e-Millath Government College for Women were rushed to two hospitals around midnight. They complained of uneasiness and nausea after having dinner in their hostel mess.
While 48 of the students were taken to Government Royapettah Hospital (GRH), 17 were admitted to Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital. Dr Anand Pratap, GRH resident medical officer (RMO), said four of them had diarrhoea.
“The rest had just anxiety-induced nausea,” he said. All the students were sent back after being observed overnight. Doctors said shortly after a student found a lizard in an idli, many of the students consumed salt water with tamarind to fight off nausea. “This made some of them throw up and feel even more ill,” said Dr A Elango, RMO of Government General Hospital. On Monday morning, two teams from the state food safety department and the health department of Greater Chennai Corporationinspected the hostel mess and collected samples for testing. “We have collected samples of the idli batter, water and sambhar,” said R Kathiravan, designated food safety officer for Chennai.
Geetha Rajan, principal of the college, said the students were sent back to their families on Monday. “The doctors advised them a week’s rest. We will also use the time to renovate the hostel mess,” she said.
This isn’t the first time students in the college hostel have fallen ill after having food served to them. In October, 2015, 27 students from the institution sought medical help with complains of stomach ache and vomiting after having stale coconut rice from the mess.
“Even at the time of inspection, the sanitary conditions in the kitchen were poor. It was infested with cockroaches,” said a member of the investigation team. This was vouched by a student, who did not wish to be named. “Students here keep falling ill on and off, but authorities notice only when a lot of us are sick,” said a second-year student. For food-related complaints WhatsApp- 9444042322.