Pune: 110 students were rushed to MAEER’s MIT Group of institutions-run VishwaRaj Hospital on Tuesday evening between 4 pm and 6 pm after they complained of vomiting and nausea. Apparently, they were diagnosed with mild food poisoning. As many as 1,500 students had lunch on Tuesday afternoon at MANET canteen, out of which these 110 students complained of uneasiness around 5 pm and were taken to the hospital.
Only 48 students were admitted to the hospital on Tuesday night, out of which 40 were discharged on Wednesday morning. Eight students are still admitted in the hospital, said Dr Raj, Medical Director of VishwaRaj Hospital.
The students had consumed veg kadai, chawli, jeera rice, dal fry, chapati and gulab jamun for their lunch. “For past few months, there has been a lot of problems in hostel mess on campus. We have several times complained about it but no action has been taken. In the evening, many students started vomiting and complaining of uneasiness after which they were taken to the hospital,” said a student from one of the colleges on campus.
He added, “Initially, the wardens and faculty were insisting to return to the hostel and said they will be given treatment at the hostel itself. However, they continued the treatment here.”
A faculty member from the Loni Kalbhor campus informed that similar incident had taken place a couple of months ago when at least 30-40 students were admitted in the hospital for health complaints. “Then, it was because of water-related issues and the effect was not of this magnitude.”
He confirmed that students were admitted because of food poisoning. Some students have been discharged. However, Trustee and Secretary of MAEER’s MIT group of institutions, Mangesh Karad has denied stating that not 110 students but only 50-60 students were taken to hospital after complaints of stomach aches. “The numbers of affected students given out are wrong. Only 60 students went to the hospital, out of which, some complained of nausea and stomach ache and a few students vomited.”
“There must be some problem in the services, which is why out of 1,000 students who consume the food daily at the mess, 60 fell ill. But the food quality is regularly examined by a committee comprising faculties on the campus,” he said.
“Samples of all items served in the lunch has been collected for testing. Apart from these, sample of gulab jamun and its ingredients have been collected. Also, the water samples have been collected as we mainly suspected that there is a problem with the water there. These samples have been now sent to Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) department, Pune Office and the reports will be received in 15 days. As soon as we get the reports, we will take action against the institution,” said Sampad Deshmukh, Assistant Food Commissioner of FDA.
Deshmukh also said that the FDA will send an ‘improvement’ notice to MAEER’s MIT Group of Institutions on Thursday. “Hygiene in the kitchen area was maintained but they have not been following certain rules. They keep the raw materials on the floor, they don’t display the items used while cooking food to the students and some areas of the walls were damp. Therefore, FDA will send a notice to ask them to improve the condition of the kitchen,” added Deshmukh.