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Continued: Cooks say they quickly knew something was wrong in Indian school lunch deaths of 23 kids

  • Article by: INDRAJIT SINGH , Associated Press
  • Last update: July 18, 2013 - 7:55 PM

Since then, the program has been replicated across the country, covering some 120 million schoolchildren. It's part of an effort to address concerns about malnutrition, which the government says nearly half of all Indian children suffer from.

Although there have been complaints about the quality of the food served and the lack of hygiene, the incident in Bihar appeared to be unprecedented for the massive food program.

But with the country focused on the safety of the program Thursday, reports emerged that others had fallen ill across India.

In the southern state of Tamil Nadu, at least 100 girls became sick, vomiting and fainting, after eating lunches made with contaminated eggs, the Press Trust of India reported.

In Maharashtra, dozens of students fell ill after drinking contaminated water, media reported.

In Bihar, the state director of the feeding program, R. Lakshamanan, told PTI that some students refused to eat the lunches Thursday in the wake of the tragedy.

The national government announced it would set up a second committee to review the functioning of the meal program in addition to one that already monitors the program.

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