The number of school children in eastern Germany suffering from an unknown virus has reached more than 6,500.
International catering giant Sodexo, which supplies food to all those affected, has yet to confirm the source of the bug.
The company will face tough questions from Germany’s federal health departments over the outbreak.
“We have had to keep an eye on this catering firm a number of times in the past. The food control authorities have told us that there were no special abnormalities and the company has now told us – of course – that it will reinforce hygiene measures. Also the food control authority will continue to make sure tests are carried out and the health authorities will continue to keep monitoring the situation,” said Ulrich Widders from the Ministry of State for Environment, Health and Consumer Protection.
Medical experts said youngsters from five of Germany’s 16 states have been affected by acute
gastroenteritis. Likely caused by a food-borne virus, those who have fallen ill have experienced vomiting and diarrhoea. Many schools have now closed as a preventive measure.