Two more children die after consuming sweets, chips from vendor in Westonaria 

Friday, October 6, 2023

The Gauteng Department of Health (GDoH) announced on Thursday that two toddlers have lost their lives following a food poisoning incident in the West Rand. 

This is after four boys aged two, three, four and six allegedly consumed sweets and chips from a vendor at West Deep in Westonaria. 

“Sadly, this resulted in two of the boys, aged two and three, being declared dead on arrival at Bekkersdal West Community Health Centre,” the department said. 

The other two boys have been transferred to Leratong Hospital for observation and further management and are in stable condition. 

The department has offered trauma counselling services to the affected families.

This recent tragedy brings the number of children who have died from food poisoning-related incidents to four. 

Neo Khang and Katlego Mbatha, both six years old, lost their lives on Sunday after eating biscuits and juice from a local shop in Naledi, Soweto.

“The GDoH would like to pass its heartfelt condolences to the families that have lost their loved ones and also wish speedy recovery to those currently admitted at hospitals.”

Meanwhile, outbreak response teams in both Johannesburg and West Rand districts continue to be on the ground in Naledi and West Deep and surrounding areas engaging locals and conducting health education.

The awareness campaign focuses on food handling, preparation, storage and food safety, the importance of checking food expiry labels and hand washing before handling food. 

Part of the advocacy work, the department said, includes reaching out to vendors and spaza shops in the area to check compliance in terms of the Foodstuffs, Cosmetics and Disinfectants Act and food labelling regulations.

“The outbreak response team has visited the affected families to provide support and counselling and to conduct further investigations in the households.”

The department urges the public to visit their nearest health facilities when they present with symptoms such as vomiting, sudden chest pains, body aches, fever or foam in the mouth. –