Even by school cafeteria food standards, it was bad: rice full of black worms. Vinegar more than a year out of date.
That's what parents say their 5-year-olds were served at a handful of private kindergartens in Wuhu, China, run by the same company. One father told reporters that his son began complaining of stomach aches three days after the school year started.
"At first I thought he was making excuses not to go to school," said the man, who gave only his surname, Xi. "But now that I think back, it must have been the spoilt lunches he'd had."
A doctor later confirmed that the boy was suffering from a mild stomach infection.
After the diagnosis, Xi said, a group of parents asked the government to investigate. "We just want to provide our children with a good school environment. We don't want to pull our son out of school - he was only just getting to know his classmates," he said, according to the South China Morning Post. "But we are also afraid that the government's monitoring will be short-lived and might stop once the outrage over this issue blows over."
After the reports were made public, 765 children were given medical checkups, according to the South China Morning Post. About 38 children, or 5 percent, "had shown some ill effects," the outlet reported. The medical exams were funded by the government.
Officials have detained the schools' managers, along with the employee who prepped the food. And they say they are launching a broader investigation of school cafeterias. "We will not miss out on inspecting even one school cafeteria," Vice Mayor Chen Shaoguang told reporters, according to the South China Morning Post. "We will not let off anyone responsible for this."
Last week, a dozen primary school students got food poisoning. Investigators later found mouse droppings near the food area. At another primary school, parents complained after they discovered that their children were being given only half a bowl of noodles for lunch every day, though the parents had been promised a full meal. The menu that they were given suggested that their kids were eating chicken, rice and three kinds of vegetables. The principal was eventually fired.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)