As many as 70 young children suffered food poisoning at an IMSS daycare in Guadalajara, Jalisco, on Tuesday.
They are believed to have taken ill after eating tainted panela cheese they were served at lunch at the daycare, operated by the Mexican health service.
Showing severe symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea, the children ranging in age from a few months to 4 years old were taken to several IMSS clinics in the city but were later reported to be in stable condition.
IMSS authorities have come under fire for allegedly attempting to keep the incident quiet by hiding information from firefighters sent to the school and using the institute’s own ambulances to transport the children, instead of involving organizations such as the Red Cross and the Guadalajara Green Cross health service.
But the institute emphasized that it followed emergency medical protocols with regard to the detection of symptoms, provision of medical services, notification of parents and the transportation of the children to medical facilities.
Not all of the affected children showed symptoms severe enough to require emergency medical care, and some parents were called to come pick them up at the daycare.
“My daughter was not taken to the emergency room, but they’re telling me she has diarrhea, so I’ll have to take her to the doctor,” said Nancy Barraza, a mother of children in the institute’s care.
IMSS authorities said that an investigation into possible negligence is being conducted and that it will take disciplinary measures if necessary.