9 QC students fall ill after eating macapuno candies; 6 sent to ICU
Nine high school students ended up on Thursday in the hospital—six of them in the intensive care unit (ICU)—for suspected food poisoning after they bought sweets from a young man who had introduced himself as a self-supporting student selling candies to augment his income.
According to the Quezon City police, the still unidentified vendor described as being in his 20s went from classroom to classroom at Juan Sumulong High School in Barangay San Roque, Cubao, offering candies, mostly macapuno flavored, to students.
Cubao police chief Supt. Marlou Martinez said in a phone interview that at 10 a.m., some of the students who ate the candies vomited and complained of stomach pains. Eight Grade 7 students—four boys and four girls—were rushed to Quirino Memorial Medical Center in Project 4 as a result. By this time, the young man was already gone, Martinez added.
He said that the students were initially reported to be in stable condition although five of them were transferred to the ICU around 7 p.m. A ninth student was also admitted to the hospital around that time and taken straight to ICU.
According to Martinez who was at the hospital monitoring the students’ condition, some of the candies bought by the students have been turned over to the hospital which will submit these to the Food and Drug Administration for testing.
The incident has also prompted the school to conduct an investigation as the police search for clues to determine the vendor’s identity.
When the Inquirer called up the manufacturer identified in the candy packaging as Kaykenmark Sweets Special Candies based in Calauan, Laguna, Eliza Oliva, the wife of the firm owner, answered.
She firmly denied that the food contamination came from their end, saying that they have been in business for the past 15 years and this was the first time they received a complaint about their products.
Oliva added that they were willing to cooperate with authorities and would welcome an inspection of their factory.
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