Kindergarten principal detained over rotten food

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Police detained a principal in charge of two kindergartens in Wuhu, Anhui province, over the weekend for her role in the use of expired rice vinegar and moldy rice for school meals.

Liang Ailian, the principal, heads the Tongxin Kindergarten and Dedebei Kindergarten, both of which were reported last week to have provided students with substandard food, Fang Zhong, head of Wuhu's Jiujiang district government, said at a news conference on Sunday.

About 300 children have been sent to hospitals in Anhui and neighboring Jiangsu province for physical examinations, and 600 more are expected to be tested, he said.

Nine children so far have been found with health problems, but they are now stable condition, Fang said. Experts have been invited to conduct further examinations.

Law enforcement officials have confiscated the spoiled food products, including two bottles of white vinegar that were past their expiration dates, seven bags of rice containing bugs and mold and six bags of packaged sausages. The food storage units at the kindergartens have been shut down.

Food residue and samples are now being examined. Results are expected, and a result is expected by Friday, Fang said.

Last week, parents of children at Tongxin Kindergarten in Jiujiang district reported that spoiled chicken legs and rice with mold and bugs were provided to their children on campus.

On Thursday, parents of the Dedebei Kindergarten flagged food safety concerns related to the cooking oil, pork and sausage used there.

Education and food safety authorities conducted on-site inspections.

Jiang Lan, head of the food and drug inspection bureau in Wuhu, said on Sunday that the government will launch food safety inspections at all schools and kindergartens, with the primary focus being private kindergartens and kindergartens that outsource catering services.

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