Twenty-six people, including 21 young children, were taken ill after eating the leftover prasad at a Ganesha pandal in Frazer Town here on Wednesday evening. Doctors who attended to them confirmed that it was a case of food poisoning.
A few adults had stomach-related problems shortly after eating puliyogare (tamarind rice) and kheer, but it did not bother them much as they readily popped pills. Alarms were, however, raised when several children, who had consumed kheer, complained of stomach ache. Many of them were even vomiting.
They were then rushed to a private hospital where doctors confirmed it was food poisoning. They were shifted to Bowring and Lady Curzon Hospital in the early hours of Thursday. All the victims are from a slum on Lazar Road in Frazer Town. The food was distributed by Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (Bescom) employees who had erected a Ganesha pandal at the Frazer Town branch premises.
Arathi, who lodged a complaint with the police, said she fell ill after eating the food but had not worried about it. Other grown-ups, too, had shrugged it off. “(But) when children complained about it, we panicked and fear gripped us,” she told Deccan Herald. Arathi, her husband Prakash and the couple’s five-year-old daughter are among those being treated.
Murugan, father of three-year-old Prema who also fell ill after eating kheer, said that his wife had fed the toddler. She had complained of stomach ache. She was stable now, he said. Dr S Rajanna, Resident Medical Officer at the hospital, confirmed that patients suffered from food poisoning. The food had been prepared several hours before consumption.
When taken to the hospital, the patients complained of only vomiting and stomach ache but developed diarrhoea later. “The adults had low blood pressure and are stable now.
The condition of children has also improved,” Rajanna told this newspaper. “All are out of danger and there is nothing to worry about. We will keep them under observation for Thursday night before being discharged on Friday.” Pulikeshi Nagar police have booked a case against Bescom authorities under Section 269 of the IPC for negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life.
Police said that samples of the food had been collected and would be sent for forensic examination.