A corrupt Chinese primary school headmistress has been jailed
for a year after being found responsible for a food poisoning
incident that caused 185 students to fall ill.
A local court heard that Dou Pingzhen, 50, former headmistress
of the primary school affiliated to the Sun Yat-sen University, Guangdong Province, had accepted 52,500 yuan
in bribes (US$6,900) from an unlicensed food company in return for
allowing it to provide catering for students.
Students had reported to Dou several times that the food was
substandard, but the problem was never solved, the Haizhu District
On Oct. 11 last year, 185 students aged from six to 12, and
several teachers fell ill after drinking soya bean milk and eating
red bean cakes made by the company.
An investigation by the city health bureau showed the utensils
used by the company were not sanitary and the food was
Dou was removed from her post after the accident. In February,
Dou admitted to the district procurator that she had taken
The court gave her a two-year reprieve on the sentence.
The city education bureau has issued guidelines on school
canteen sanitation, requiring all schools in the city to have
professional sanitation supervisors.
(Xinhua News Agency July 11, 2007)