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Norovirus kids get book tokens in recompense

The Local · 9 Oct 2012, 14:30

Published: 09 Oct 2012 14:30 GMT+02:00

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The company Sodexo said the certificates can be redeemed for books, learning supplies or tutoring sessions.

“We can well understand how the children and their parents must have felt in recent days, and we deeply regret the trouble caused by what happened,” the statement read.

A sample taken from a batch of frozen strawberries provided by one of the company’s suppliers showed evidence of norovirus contamination. Sodexo said it was planning to stop working with the Chinese distributor and would wait for an independent evaluation before resuming cooperation with the company.

The government-run Robert Koch Institute and the Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety said the strawberries caused an outbreak of diarrhoea and vomiting that affected more than 11,000 people in the states of Brandenburg, Berlin, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia during late September.

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 frozen fruit had been imported from China. German Consumer Minister Ilse Aigner told the Wednesday edition of the Augsburger Allgemeine that there was ample evidence the strawberries were contaminated in their country of origin – and urged Chinese authorities to conduct an investigation.

Story continues below…

In an interview with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, a trade supervision official in the Chinese port city of Qingdao cautioned against rushing to judgement, saying there was no evidence that the outbreak of gastro-intestinal disease could be traced back to contaminated strawberries from China.

DAPD/DPA/The Local/arp

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

18:30 October 9, 2012 by Englishted
Can they use the voucher in that brothel in the other story?
18:45 October 9, 2012 by Masala
when all else fails, blame the Chinese!
19:18 October 9, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
The Spanish were blamed wrongly in 2011 for an outbreak of some sort of food poisoning. It turned out the bug came from farms in Germany. I suspect Sodexo are looking for an escape goat here also.
19:23 October 9, 2012 by freechoice
Somebody must be sleeping on the job!
21:41 October 9, 2012 by lucksi
Hahaha and to think I was being sarcastic when I said that this being Germany, they will get 50 Euros.

A voucher for 50 Euros is so much better
11:41 October 10, 2012 by pjnt
Yet another disgraceful German food scandal. The Chinese? Perhaps yes, perhaps no. Prove it and even then I would be skeptical because I agree with Berlin from last years mess.

Not to mention the 50 euro joke. How about 50 euros per kid and some serious jail time for the people who caused the problem? That means the German group who provide the food, are responsible for the quality and make the biggest chunk of profit.
17:45 October 16, 2012 by Scamp
sodexo is a French company, so we can blame the French ;)
15:41 October 23, 2012 by notelove2
Why are schools being fed with food imported from China and France...what is wrong with german food? the schools should be feeding the kids with local food.
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