A nursery school kitchen worker is being investigated for repeatedly poisoning the young tots’ food with detergent.
The incident took place at a nursery school in Leverkusen, a city in the western German state of North Rhine-Westphalia and so far one person is under investigation.
Stunned nursery bosses, where 60 children are cared for by 12 employees, spoke of a “wilful contamination” of food served at lunchtime, which was supplied by a caterer but prepared in their own kitchen.
Pictures Credit: CEN
The first case was discovered on 12th February when an employee reportedly noticed a strange smell in the food.
A sample of the seven litres of paprika cream sauce was then analysed in a laboratory.
On 18th February, a second case of food poisoning was discovered when the vegetable soup also smelled suspicious, according to reports.
A sample was again analysed, only this time it was compared to detergents used in the nursery after investigators noticed that other schools in the area receiving the caterer’s food did not have the same problem.
On 7th March, police confirmed that the food was poisoned with a detergent and the nursery then filed a complaint with the authorities against an unnamed employee.
After an initial investigation, the cops have since arrested the kitchen assistant, according to local media.
Reports said that she no longer works at the nursery, although it was not confirmed whether she had been dismissed.
Fortunately, none of the children consumed any of the allegedly poisoned food.
Nursery spokesman Hans Hoeroldt said: “The agent is unsuitable for children although the damage it could have caused is unclear.”
According to local media, the nursery will step up its security and introduce a series of checks that will take place from the moment of delivery to meal time.
Parents were appalled by the incident, with some even removing their tots from the nursery.
Svenja Wielpuetz said: “It’s scary that something like this happened. I assume the person who did it only wanted to hurt the nursery or caterer and not the children directly.”
Esther Lilienthal said: “I am very angry and stunned by what happened, that someone would risk the health of our children.”