Kaitaia students 'throwing up in classroom' after eating raw chicken

Wed, Mar 8

Some students at Northland's Kaitaia College were reportedly "throwing up in the classroom" after being served raw chicken for lunch.

Kaitaia College deputy head girl Bianca Walburn explained the chaos that unfolded at lunch today to 1News.

"The providers of the food bring in these massive tubs to all of our classrooms at our whānau group time – and that is where all of our lunches were," she said.

"All of a sudden I hear 'eww gross what’s going on'.

"There it was just disgustingly, disgusting chicken so I took some photos, it’s just horrific, it was completely raw."

Walburn said multiple teachers went into classrooms telling people to stop eating the chicken and the principal came over the intercom to also issue a warning.

There were "quite a few incidents of students throwing up in the classroom", she said.

Some were so badly affected they were taken to hospital.

Raw chicken tenders served at Kaitaia College.

Walburn said the school has been with school lunch provider Bells Produce Ltd for two years now and sadly this isn’t the first incident of bad food hygiene, although it was the most serious she added.

Another Kaitaia College student also contacted 1News backing up the claim, stating: "The quality, health and safety of the lunches has been an ongoing issue ever since they started providing our lunches."

Kaitaia College said students were told to "immediately stop eating" the raw product after it was first discovered.

"A number of them have begun feeling ill, with some students taken to hospital for further treatment," Board of Trustees Chairperson Diane Laurenson said in a statement this afternoon.

"Parents have been advised and the food supplier, the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education and other government agencies have been notified."

The Ministry of Education also issued a statement saying New Zealand Food Safety was working with the food provider to understand what occurred and make sure it doesn't happen again.

School lunch provider Bells Produce Ltd issued an apology on its Facebook page.

"We have become aware that in today's lunches to the Kaitaia College, which was had cooled crumbed chicken as in ingredient, that a batch of the lunches had uncooked meat.

"Firstly we would like apologise to the school and children who this may have affected.

"All of the lunches were recalled as a safety measure once we we notified.

"We understand this is a concerning issue and we will be investigating what may have caused this issue as well as working with the school and everyone required in this matter to work through it.

"Once again we are deeply sorry to everybody involved and that those effected lunches not to a safe and acceptable standard that should be expected."

Kaitaia College also apologised for the incident.

1News has contacted Bells Produce Ltd for comment.


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