Saturday, February 08, 2014

Hullabaloo after snail found in school lunch salad

A student at a school in Hawaii found a snail in his lunch. The snail was found on Wednesday on a student’s salad served at the Kailua-Kona school cafeteria. The Kealakehe High School principal says he is taking the matter very seriously. Principal Wilfred Murakami says the salad ingredients were washed properly by cafeteria staff.

“We drain it strain it in a colander and go ahead and turn it into a salad. And in this particular case, one of the snails was lodged in one of the leaves,” he said. It is troubling because most snails and slugs contain parasites that can attack the nervous system, causing rat lungworm disease, which can be debilitating. “They’ll have tremendous headache. They’ll have neck pain.

“All those generic signs that you associate with meningitis,” said Dr. Sarah Park, Hawaii state epidemiologist. Dr. Park says in some cases it could take months even years of rehabilitation to recover. “A lot of people can have long term complications, they can have residual ghost pain, they can have tingling, they can have other things, they can have weakness in the limbs, they can have headaches,” Dr. Park said.

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The school says it has notified the vendor, which is a farm in Kailua-Kona, and cafeteria staff will be more diligent in cleaning and inspecting the produce. “To make sure that they examine the lettuce and other pieces of food and other kinds of vegetables, to make sure that none of these critters or insects get into it,” Murakami said. The principal says the school services manager is also increasing the level of inspection at the cafeteria.

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