In an unfortunate event in Bihar, the mid-day meal for 21 children, consisting of Rice, Beans and Potato curry, became the last meal for them. Another two dozen kids were admitted to hospital in Patna. It was found that a poisonous insecticide Organophosphate was found in the meal. India has a national school lunch program, serving free meals to 120 million children in its 73,000 schools. In Bihar alone, 20 million receive the free meals. The Supreme Court of India ordered school lunches be provided in 2001, and the program has since grown into the world’s largest.
While popular with the children and credited with increasing school attendance, delivery of school lunches in India is complicated. Charities and non-government organizations along with local politicians are all involved, sometimes resulting in fraud and poor quality meals.
Provincial police are investigating the deaths and the school’s headmistress has gone into hiding, according to local news reports.
Source: Food Safety News