Mishandling of cartons to blame for school milk poisoning
KOTA KINABALU: Investigations on the milk contamination incidents at two primary schools here showed that there has been mishandling of the dairy product during the distribution process.
Deputy Health Minister Datuk Rosnah Abdul Rashid Shirlin said the ministry's officers had now sealed the remaining stock at the affected schools -- Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan (C) Lok Yuk, Menggatal, and Sekolah Kebangsaan St Francis Convent -- following the order of suspension.
The distribution of milk to primary schools here under the "Mat Pintar" programme was temporarily suspended by the ministry on May 20 after 44 pupils of SJKC Lok Yuk and seven from SK St. Francis Convent suffered stomach ache and vomiting after consuming the drink.
"Investigations revealed that the UHT milk had been mishandled during the distribution process.
"This is evidenced from the damaged cartons," Rosnah said in a statement.
"Based on laboratory results, micro-organisms were detected in four out of 43 samples."
She said the ministry had instructed the supplier to recall all the affected UHT milk.
She also urged all milk distributors to exercise greater caution when distributing them to schools in future.
Rosnah added that in order to ensure the safety of the UHT milk under the "Mat Pintar" Programme, the Health Ministry would exercise stringent control measures along the milk supply chain under the programme.