Food poisoning at Step by Step School in Noida: Students told to carry food until further notice | noida | Hindustan Times
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Food poisoning at Step by Step School in Noida: Students told to carry food until further notice

The services of the private canteen operator, Sodexo, had been suspended, school officials said.

noida Updated: Apr 10, 2018 22:36 IST
Snehil Sinha
Parents said they received the email with 21 questions and answers around 3am on Monday.
Parents said they received the email with 21 questions and answers around 3am on Monday.(Sunil Ghosh/HT File)

The administration of Step by Step School in Noida has asked students to carry their own food until further notice, as 190 fell sick after allegedly consuming the food served in the school last Thursday.

The services of the private canteen operator, Sodexo, had been suspended, school officials said. Meanwhile, the school has also sent an email to parents, answering their Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and addressing concerns. The questions were compiled by a parents’ association after they received several queries from worried parents.

“We are in the process of understanding the cause of the incident and keeping in mind the well-being of the children, we will review all necessary options for restarting food facilities once we have more clarity,” an email sent by the school to the parents stated.

“We appreciate the patience of the parents and our children and as always, will take a decision keeping the best interest of our children in mind,” it read.

Parents said they received the email with 21 questions and answers around 3am on Monday.

The school has assured parents that necessary steps are being taken to investigate the matter and sanitise the school. Water tanks have been drained and flushed clean and refilled. The RO system has also been cleaned and flushed, the parents were informed.

“The school has been cleaned and sanitised. We have also added extra medical staff to our team as students return,” the email read.

It further stated,“The school also immediately suspended the services of Sodexo and called upon its senior management to respond urgently with respect to the current situation.”

While the health department and the district administration officials were unable to get food samples for testing, the school said that food samples are always maintained for 72 hours, for a quality check. Despite this claim, the samples were not provided to district officials. The school had earlier stated that it sent food samples to independent labs of international repute.

“There is a two-step process on food quality assurance. Sodexo follows its own protocols, by which food samples were kept for 72 hours. In addition, the school also monitors and supervises the rations and stores daily,” the email stated.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Sodexo said that food samples are available at the school for two-three days. However, the spokesperson said the company is unaware if food samples were handed over to the authorities.

“The scope of our work includes providing access to food samples, which are readily available with the school administration at the site. We have launched an internal investigation into the matter led by our health and safety experts and expect an internal analysis by early next week,” Sonal Shah, Sodexo spokesperson, said.