211 children hospitalised after bean lunch at school

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Guatemalan health officials suspect a bean lunch is behind the mass hospitalisation of over 200 pupils in the south-west of the country, a spokesman for the Red Cross told dpa on Tuesday.

“Some 211 children were being taken to hospital with signs of food poisoning.

“In total, 425 children from the school in the community of Las Delicias in the Quetzaltenango region had complained of abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting after a meal on Monday,’’ the newspaper Prensa Libre quoted the headmaster as saying.

However, only the most severe cases were treated in hospital.

The pupils had eaten beans with “chipilin” (Crotalaria longirostrata), a perennial legume of Central America.

“Officials are investigating possible sources of food poisoning, including whether the ingredients had been treated with pesticides,’’ the paper said.

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