169 hospitalized in Davao; pack lunch blamed

DAVAO CITY — After taking lunch at a leadership seminar on Sunday, 169 students and staff of Ateneo de Davao University (Addu) were rushed to a hospital for suspected food poisoning.
Jeremy Eliab, assistant to the president of Addu, said 334 students and administrators participated in the one-day Sui Generis Leaders’ Summit on July 29.

Of the 169 who were believed to have suffered from food poisoning, 118 were outpatients who were told to rest at home.
The victims were brought to Davao Doctors Hospital (DDH), San Pedro Hospital, and Davao Medical School Foundation Hospital.

Eliab said another one only complained on Monday.
Students started to feel stomach discomfort and were vomiting between 2 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. of Sunday, prompting the school administrators to call Central 911.

Atenews ADDU @atenews tweeted that 350 student leaders attended the Sui Generis Leadership gathering conducted at the Ateneo campus on Sunday.

One of the victims identified as Ricky Zonio also tweeted that he started vomiting around 3 p.m., about two hours after eating the food.

“Around 3 p.m., nagsimulang nakaramdam ng pananakit ng sikmura. Kala ko nga ako lang nakaramdam, pero nung pumunta ako sa men’s CR puno na ng suka yung dalawang sink tapos may di pa umabot sa toilet bowl,” tweeted Zonio.
The university’s president Fr. Joel Tabora was also rushed to DDH, but was released Monday afternoon.
Aside from Tabora, seven other administrators were brought to the hospitals.

Eliab said the school’s health insurance will pay the cost of medication for the patients during their confinement at the hospitals and also the post-medication.

Eliab identified the caterer as the MTC Rebosura that served them chicken adobo with boiled egg, bihon, fish fillet, rice and fruit salad for lunch.

He said MTC Rebosura has been catering for the school twice a week for three years now. This was the first incident they had with the caterer.

He added the caterer will be summoned by the investigation team convened to look into what happened and to see what legal action they can take.

As of this posting Monday, the caterer has not yet issued a statement.
Two test samples were taken for laboratory testing. One was a fecal sample from patients done by the hospitals and another one was on food samples.

The food samples were preserved frozen and forwarded to the Department of Health Manila for further examination.
“We don’t know how long will be the results of the examination,” he said.

Ricardo Enriquez, director of the Office of Students Affairs, said the cause of the alleged poisoning, whether it was due to the chicken adobo, is not yet confirmed.

“The smell was just alleged,” he said of claims that the chicken smelled bad.

Enriquez also said more than 20 patients were already released from the hospitals as of this posting.
Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio said she already sent a team from the City Health Office to check on the caterer’s facilities at Skyline Subdivision in Catalunan Grande.

Duterte-Carpio did not discount the possibility that the caterer’s business permit could be revoked as a result of the massive food poisoning.

Vice Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, meanwhile, already visited some of the victims in hospitals.


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