Mumbai: Around 20 schoolchildren were hospitalized for food poisoning and hundreds complained of vomiting post lunch at three of the four venues of a students’ conference organized by the Indian International Model United Nations (IIMUN) on Thursday.

Aman Baldia, senior vice-president of IIMUN, said they have approached the police against the popular food chain that had provided the “stale” lunch.

“The students have been admitted at various hospitals; they are all out of danger. The police are probing the matter,” said DCP Dhananjay Kulkarni. As the situation spiralled out of control, the two-day conference was called off.

Over 5,000 students from classes VII to XI, mostly from elite schools, attended the conference at Lala Lajpatrai College in Mahalaxmi, Thadomal Shahani College in Bandra, KC College in Churchgate and Whistling Woods in Goregaon. “It was a pre-set dal makhani meal. When some students complained that it was stale, we called for food from other joints. But by then, many had already eaten,” said Baldia. Around 2pm, many students started vomiting at the Mahalaxmi, Bandra and Churchgate venues.

Around 13 children from the Mahalaxmi venue were rushed to Jaslok Hospital, of which four were admitted, while two took discharge against medical advice. “They complained of cramps, weakness and vomiting. A few of them also had fluctuating blood pressure levels and fever,” said Dr Tarang Gianchandani. “These are classic symptoms of food poisoning.” The hospital has preserved food samples to aid police probe.

Two students were rushed to Holy Family Hospital from the Bandra venue with similar symptoms. While one student was admiited and kept under observation, the other was sent home after treatment, said an on-duty doctor.

The Khar and Tardeo police are recording students’ statements. “Based on what they say, we will take a decision on whether a cognizable offence is made out,” said senior inspector Ramchandra Jadhav of Khar police station.

Source: TOI-MUM