30 children in Jerusalem daycare diagnosed with salmonella

Mother complains of child's stomachache, Health Ministry finds serious sanitary issues in daycare facilities.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Baby in daycare
Baby in daycare

On April 30, a report was received from the mother of an infant enrolled in an Emunah daycare in Jerusalem claiming infants and toddlers in one of the daycare's classes were suffering stomachaches and intestinal disturbances.

According to Ynet, an investigation by the Jerusalem District Health Office found the problems had begun several days earlier, in the daycare's 2-year-old class, when 15 of the class's 24 children became ill and one was hospitalized.

In the infants' group, 15 out of 18 infants became ill, and one was hospitalized.

Last Wednesday, the Health Office received the results of the various tests performed, and found that one of the sick children tested positive for salmonella.

A district health supervisor was immediately sent to the daycare, where they found that both breakfast and lunch were served hot and made on the premises. The supervisor also made a list of health hazards which the daycare will need to fix.

During the visit, the supervisor took samples of food stored in the daycare since April 28. Though the samples did not test positive for salmonella, they did test positive for several other pathogens.

The presence of these pathogens could cause gastrointestinal illnesses and proves sanitary conditions in the daycare's kitchen are less than satisfactory.

Also on Wednesday, one of the mothers said the children petted chickens which had been brought to the daycare as part of a extracurricular program. Touching animals infected with salmonella is known to cause salmonella infections in people.

"In order to prevent the illnesses from spreading, please do not send sick children to daycare," the Health Ministry said. "The germs, and infections, can spread from one child to another."

"In addition, the daycare must fix the sanitary issues in its kitchen, as detailed the supervisor's report."

Emunah said, "During the past week, a small number of parents whose children were enrolled in the Jerusalem daycare complained their children suffered from stomachaches and diarrhea. As soon as we heard about it, we sterilized the daycare, checked the food, and reminded staff of the protocol. We are working in cooperation with the Health Ministry and the relevant authorities."

"To the best of our knowledge, the inspection did not prove that the children were infected during their time in daycare, and the possibility that salmonella was the cause of their infections has been completely ruled out.

"Despite this, we are working determinedly with the Health Ministry to ensure there are no hazards, even theoretical ones."