At least 76 residents of a village in the Paderu ITDA (Integrated Tribal Development Agency) limits suffered food poisoning on Wednesday after consuming contaminated meat. The incident occurred in Magatapalem village of Gaduturu panchayat, in Gangaraju Madugula mandal of the Paderu Agency region.
Paderu ITDA Project Officer Venkateswar Salijamala told TNM that around 20 households from the village had eaten beef on Tuesday, after a cow belonging to one of the residents died. While the reason for the cow’s death is unclear, according to Venkateswar, residents of Magatapalem claimed that the cow had been frothing at its mouth when it died.
“On Wednesday evening, they started developing symptoms of gastroenteritis, including diarrhea and vomiting. Around 76 people were shifted to the PHC (Primary Health Centre). All of them are now in stable condition, and many of them have already been discharged after being given fluids and medication,” the Project Officer said.
While it was ascertained that the meat was contaminated, he said that it was unclear whether it was because of the way the cow died, or because of the cooking process.
Paderu MLA Bhagyalakshmi Kottagulli, who visited the patients at the hospital, told the media that the exact cause of the food-borne illness was yet to be determined. “They unknowingly ate polluted food. We are requesting people to be careful with their health."
She also instructed field health workers and village volunteers in the region to monitor people’s health conditions closely and inform local PHCs in case of any illnesses. She said that there was a need to create awareness, as the people were staying in remote villages, and had “unconventional food habits.”
ITDA Project Officer Venkateswar said that a health camp has been set up in the area for the next seven days.