“Royal” food poisoning leaves bad taste

JUST one month after the Wits Vuvuzela reported the discovery of a worm in a burger, food services provider RoyalMnandi has come under the spotlight again, this time for an allegation of food poisoning.

The alleged food poisoning happened on Sunday, May 5, when a first year law student of the University of Witwatersrand went to the main dining hall to have her lunch—a toasted chicken and mayonnaise sandwich.

After eating only half of the sandwich, she started experiencing body aches. Later that evening, she broke into a fever.

By Monday the student was unable to leave her bed.

She called Campus Control and was taken to hospital. The diagnosis: a stomach infection that had gone through to her blood stream and caused a blood infection.

According to the doctors, the most likely cause of the infection was an item of food she had eaten within the previous 24 hours.

“And the only thing I had eaten was from the dining hall,” she said.

A "ROYAL" LETDOWN: Students enjoy a meal in the main dining hall on East Campus. Photo: Dineo Bendile

A “ROYAL” LETDOWN: Students enjoy a meal in the main dining hall on East Campus.
Photo: Dineo Bendile

 

 

A representative from RoyalMnandi was unable to comment on the matter and referred the Wits Vuvuzela to the deputy head of services, Joanne Rowan, who was out of office.

The student spent Monday night in hospital on a drip line.  She was then released after her fever broke and went to stay with her family as she was still too weak to be on her own.

“I was supposed to be admitted, but I didn’t want to because I was scared. I have no immediate family here [Johannesburg], just distant cousins,” she said.

An ongoing problem

The student alleges that this was not the first time that food from the main dining hall had made her ill.

“When I moved here in the beginning of the year, I could barely stomach the food. It wasn’t because it was bad, it was because my system wasn’t used to the oil and things that they were using.”

But none of her prior experiences could compare to the seriousness of her recent ordeal.

The student claims that it took her approximately three days after the incident before she could stomach a full meal.

The student said she was having difficulties reaching the dining hall’s operations administrator to report her issue.

In April, the Wits Vuvuzela reported that a student had found a worm in a chicken burger patty from the main dining hall. Just a month before that, students wrote a letter to Vice Chancellor Adam Habib to address the issue of poor service by RoyalMnandi.