The Daily Southtown reports that in the second such incident in two weeks, nearly 50 kids at Forest Trail Middle School and 21st Century Preparatory Center in Park Forest complained of stomachaches and nausea Monday after eating lunches that included pineapple and applesauce cups that some students said smelled and tasted funny.
Earlier in the month, Forest Trail sent 17 students to the hospital with the same symptoms. Fruit juice boxes were suspected then of causing the illnesses.
An investigation by Ceres Food Group, a food management company that services 350 Chicago area schools, indicated some of the juice boxes served Oct. 5 had elevated levels of yeast. Ceres is no longer serving juice from Country Pure Foods, which produced the juice boxes.
The two incidents in one month have parents rethinking meals at the school.
Officials from the Cook County Department of Public Health and Ceres were investigating both incidents.
Sean McDermott, a Health Department spokesman, said the situation is peculiar for two reasons: The outbreaks occurred at the same school with the same students within two weeks. And, typically, symptoms of food poisoning take five to six hours to occur.
John Koubek, president of Ceres, said his company is trying to determine if the outbreak Oct. 5 was related to the juices’ production or its distribution.
As for the fruit cups mentioned by students Monday, the product was served at 34 other Chicago area schools without complaint, he said.
Two employees were at Forest Trail on Monday afternoon to investigate, Koubek said.