GDE suspends food services at PTA school after poison scare

65 pupils at New Eersterus School were taken to hospital after complaining of stomach cramps.

FILE: School children enjoying a snack during break. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Gauteng Department of Education says it has suspended the services of a school nutrition service provider at a Pretoria school, after pupils there were rushed to hospital due to a suspected case of food poisoning.

Last week, 65 pupils at New Eersterus School in Hammanskraal were taken to hospital after complaining of stomach cramps.

The department's Phumla Sekhonyane says although the hospital found no signs of poisoning among the 65 pupils, they've since suspended the services of the caterer, while an investigation is being conducted.

"As a precautionary measure we then suspended the provider at that particular school, we will investigate and make sure that we guard the safety of our learners."

In a separate incident, 15-year-old Katlego Mashela, also a pupil at the New Eersterus School passed away of Thursday after being hospitalised last Monday due to stomach cramps.

His mother, Maria Mashela says her son had told her the problem started after he ate soup served at school.

The incident is also being investigated.