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Caterer offers damages to tummy bug kids
Photo: DPA

Caterer offers damages to tummy bug kids

Published: 06 Oct 2012 15:25 GMT+02:00
Updated: 06 Oct 2012 15:25 GMT+02:00

The caterer responsible for last week's outbreak of gastro-intestinal disease in thousands of eastern German schoolchildren has apologised and promised to award compensation - despite previously denying its liability.

"We apologise unreservedly to all the children and their families," the Hessian company Sodexo said in a statement, adding that all the children had now recovered. It did not provide any details about the compensation.

Sodexo's statement is in contrast to an earlier one which questioned its responsibility for the sick children. “Less than five percent of all the schools we deliver to have sick children,” company spokesman Stephan Dürholt said on Friday, September 28.

"We presume that the cause of the illness is a norovirus outbreak, which we have nothing to do with," Dürholt said. "The reason that almost all of the children ate food from our kitchens is simply because we deliver food to a lot of schools."

The outbreak - the largest wave of gastro-intestinal disease caused by food ever recorded in Germany - has since been traced to a batch of frozen strawberry sauce imported from China.

That was the result of investigations carried out by the government-run Robert Koch Institute (RKI) and the Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety. There are no indications that the infected sauce was sold in shops.

Sodexo said on Friday it would be reviewing all its suppliers, and will "immediately do everything technically and logistically possible" to prevent any incident like this in the future.

More than 11,000 people across several German states including Berlin, Brandenburg, Saxony and Thuringia suffered vomiting and diarrhoea during last week's outbreak.

The Local/DAPD/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

17:01 October 6, 2012 by pepsionice
In the US, they'd be bankrupt within a year because of law suits. In this case? They probably can survive, but no one much will be buying their products, and they will dwindle down to a point where someone buys the company for nothing, and re-markets them completely.
17:29 October 6, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
The reason that almost all of the children ate food from our kitchens is simply because we deliver food to a lot of schools.

Following onto

The reason nearly half the children of Germany are now dead is because they ate our food.
21:00 October 6, 2012 by catjones
Ok, so I think we can all agree on one thing...it's the kid's fault.
22:52 October 6, 2012 by nstaubach
surprise surprise...religion of the company owners not mentioned!
04:23 October 7, 2012 by jotanshi
This is the China-risk, spreading out poisonous wares all over the world.

Might be a bio-terrorism.
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