Dozens of children attending schools in Saint-André-lez-Lille, in the North, were victims of a
collective food infection we learned on Tuesday from the Regional Health Agency (ARS) of Hauts-de-France. Some cases, the number of which was not specified, required hospitalization.
A suspicion of collective food poisoning (TIAC) affects several schools in Saint-André. In a very short period of time, between September 4 and 11, 21 children presented digestive disorders, sometimes severe. In view of the number of cases, the health authorities and the Population Protection Directorate have carried out investigations to determine if there was a common factor.
All the sick children ate in their school canteen
It has been established that the intoxication took place “around 2 and 3 September”, just after the start of the school year. A range estimated according to “the incubation period of one to eight days and the dates of onset of symptoms”, according to the ARS.
It was also found that all the sick children had eaten in the school restaurants of three schools in the town. These restaurants are all provided by the municipal catering service.
The health services have yet to identify the food that caused this collective poisoning. Contacted by 20 minutes, the ARS specifies that it is an infection with Escherichia coli (E. coli). This bacteria is found naturally in the intestines of animals, especially livestock and poultry. This is particularly why most contaminations concern meat or cheese. In 2011 that E. coli had become infamous with the tainted hamburger case sold at Lidl.