Three young children were part of a family rushed to hospital after being served hot chocolate which had expired 25 years earlier. Two siblings and a friend, all aged between 8 and 12, were in Italy visiting grandparents when the incident took place.
The local health authority reported the incident to police who said the 77 year-old grandmother herself was the one to discover the apparent cause of the poisoning.
The food poisoning was so severe that one of the children needed 20 days of treatment before finally getting better. Both the grandparents and the father of the two children were also made sick by the hot chocolate sachets.
How it happened
The grandmother, Mrs Rosetta, believes that she bought the sachets sometime in the late 1980’s and that they stayed tucked away in her cupboard until she made her family the hot drinks earlier last month.
Although it has not been reported which ingredients made up the sachets or what brand they were, it is likely that one ingredient would have been powdered milk. Unlike sugar or cocoa, powdered milk has a high chance of going off and becoming harmful if not consumed within the use-by date.
Food safety in Australia
Food safety is an everyday issue all over the world and the consequences of eating spoiled food can be deadly. Most State Governments in Australia have made it law that all businesses in the food industry; whether a restaurant, school canteen or chocolate factory, must have at least one Food Safety Supervisor on premises at all times.