Taxi rank snack leaves 2 children dead in West Rand

People are urged to be vigilant following the death of two more children, reportedly from eating tainted food.

Two children aged two and three have died and two others are in hospital after eating sweets and chips from a vendor in West Deep in Westonaria, Gauteng.

This was confirmed by the Gauteng Department of Health (GDoH), which says that the incident occurred on Wednesday.

GDoH’s head of communication Motalatale Modiba says outbreak response teams are on the ground, engaging with locals and conducting health education.

Modiba says that the boys were declared dead on arrival at Bekkersdal West Community Health Centre. “The other two boys have been transferred to Leratong Hospital for observation and further management, they are both in a stable condition,” he adds.

He confirms that the department has offered trauma counselling services to the affected families.

This brings the number of children who have died from food poisoning to four. Two young children died and another two fell ill after eating tainted biscuits bought from a spaza shop in Naledi, Soweto, on Sunday.

The GDoH sent its condolences to the families who have lost their loved ones and wishes a speedy recovery to those in hospital.

“Response teams are now focusing on the awareness of food handling, preparation, storage and food safety, the importance of checking food expiry labels, and hand washing before handling food,” says Modiba.

He adds that part of the advocacy work includes reaching out to vendors and spaza shops in the area, to check compliance in terms of the Foodstuffs, Cosmetics and Disinfectants Act (Act 54 of 1972), and food labelling regulations.

Outbreak response teams have visited the affected families to provide support and counselling, and to conduct further investigations in the households.

The department urges the public to visit their closest healthcare facility when they present with symptoms such as vomiting, sudden chest pains, body aches or weakness, fever or foam in the mouth.

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