26 Sep 2018

School lunches stopped in New Caledonian city after sicknesses

1:00 pm on 26 September 2018

The city of Noumea in New Caledonia has decided to stop the lunch service at its 52 schools after yet another case of food making children sick.

Lunch box from decile 10 school

Photo: RNZ / Brad White

The suspension comes after about a dozen children at one school fell ill after lunch.

In the past three months, eight different schools have been hit with food problems, with some children being taken to hospital for vomiting.

Parents are advised that from tomorrow, there will be no supervision after the morning lessons and no food will be delivered.

Until now about 8,000 school meals have been prepared and distributed each day by a monopoly provider, Newrest, which is a subsidiary of a French company.

A group of parents has decided to lodge a formal complaint against unknown persons over the food problem.

In two cases, food inspections have found bacterial contamination in preparing sausages.

Reports said foul play is not excluded as a possible explanation.