'Spoiled' hotcakes down 7 kids in Cebu City

12/30/09 - CEBU CITY, Philippine - Seven minors were rushed to Cebu City Medical Center (CMCC) Monday night after feeling weak and vomiting.
The minors reportedly ate home-made hotcakes a few minutes before feeling sick. The youngest of the victim is 9 years old.
The minors, cousins from 3 families in Barangay Labangon in Cebu City, reportedly ate hotcakes for snacks Monday at around 4 p.m.. After 15 minutes they started vomiting.
Lito Gonzales, father of 3 of the 7 victims, said that he immediately gave the cousins coconut milk supposedly to stop the vomiting. The children took the coconut milk, but then, they vomited more.
They were then sent to the hospital after they already felt weak because of vomiting several times.
Dr. Edgar Abelgas, CCMC emergency room manager and who attended to the victims, said they are still waiting for the results of tests on the victims to determine what poisoned them.
Abelgas said that it could have been either the egg or the flour that were used to make the hotcakes. He said that either of the 2 ingredients could be spoiled. He said that it can also be attributed to the way the food was prepared or the way the ingredients were stored.
Abelgas, however, assured that the children are already in good condition and that they may be sent out Tuesday.
Gonzales went to the Food and Drug Administration to have the leftover hotcakes examined, hoping to determine what caused the children’s dehydration.
But FDA declined to examine the food items because they do not have the facility to conduct the test.
Christine Baritua, Food and Drug Regulations officer, said that any food that needed to be examined should be taken to the Department of Science and Technology. She said, however, that the complainants will have to pay for the laboratory examinations.
The victims, meanwhile, blame the flour they bought in a store near their home as the cause of the alleged food poisoning. The said, however, that they did not see any sign of spoilage in the flour.
Lucia Mendoza, the owner of the store, said she also felt sick when she tasted the hotcakes the victims ate. He said that she bought a few kilos of the unbranded flour in Carbon Public Market.
Mendoza said, however, that she doubts that it was the flour from her store that caused the vomiting incidents. She said she used the same flour this Christmas when they prepared beef steak.
Mendoza, however, assured the victims that she will help them with their hospital bills.
(ABS-CBN News Central Visayas )

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