A lizard in an idli served at Quaid-e-Millath Government Women’s College's hostel landed 65 students in the hospital late on Sunday night. More than 100 students was rushed to hospital after they complained of uneasiness and nausea after having dinner in their hostel mess.
While 48 of the students were taken to Government Royapettah Hospital (GRH), 17 were admitted to Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital. Dr Anand Pratap, GRH resident medical officer (RMO), said four of them had diarrhoea.
Dr Anand Pratap, Resident Medical Officer at the Government Royapettah Hospital, told Express, “The symptoms were nausea and head ache and four students had diarrhoeal bouts. Majority of them were suffering from anxiety and panic due to the incident. But they were stable in the morning and hence were discharged”.
Throughout the incident, the management had not informed the students’ parents about the occurrence.
“We were not allowed to inform our parents and were sent home soon after being discharged. Most of us had to go on our own despite being sick since we were not allowed to stay in the hostel even for the night”, said one of the affected students.
The college had however declared one-week holiday for hostelers after the Food Safety Department had conducted an inspection and issued a warning notice to the management.
“We have collected samples of food and drinking water from the hostel for testing. Further action will be based on the report which is expected within 15 days,” said Dr R Kathiravan, Designated Officer, Chennai Food Safety Department.
Geetha Rajan, principal of the college, said the students were sent back to their families on Monday. "The doctors advised them a week's rest. We will also use the time to renovate the hostel mess," she said.
"Even at the time of inspection, the sanitary conditions in the kitchen were poor. It was infested with cockroaches," said a member of the investigation team. This was vouched by a student, who did not wish to be named. "Students here keep falling ill on and off, but authorities notice only when a lot of us are sick," said a second-year student. For food-related complaints WhatsApp- 9444042322.