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Children's health

23rd Nov 2021

Investigation underway as 5 kids die reportedly after eating instant noodles

Laura Grainger

Both the police and South Africa’s Department of Health are awaiting further test results.

An investigation is underway in South Africa into the deaths of five children in two separate incidents, which some fear may have resulted from them eating instant noodles.

Keamogetswe Makofane, 13, and his sister Thato Makofane, 9, from Mpumalanga, died an hour apart last week after they were rushed to hospital complaining of stomach cramps.

Their uncle claims the pair had eaten instant noodles prior to complaining of the cramps.

“We are broken as a family because we never thought that something like this would happen to us,” Mpho Chosen Makofane said, per reports.

“We haven’t heard anything from the police, and we went to inquire at the forensic about the post mortem result. We were informed that they would get back to us once they had received the results from the lab in Pretoria.”

Police say there isn’t yet enough evidence to blame their deaths on the noodles.

“All we know at this stage, and according to the mom, is that was the first thing they ate that morning. We are still waiting for the results of the post-mortem. So, for now, we can’t confirm and it’s just speculation,” Police spokesperson Constable Busisiwe Mthetewa told IOL.

Three children in Eastern Cape also died recently after allegedly eating instant noodles, though local media reports that South Africa’s Department of Health confirmed they had eaten a different brand to the noodles eaten by the siblings in Mpumalanga.

The children in Eastern Cape were reportedly aged eleven, seven and four months.

South Africa’s Department of Health has launched an investigation into whether or not food poisoning played a role in all five children’s tragic deaths.

It is currently awaiting conclusive lab results from samples of the noodles that were ingested, but a spokesperson said that initial tests did not raise any red flags.

“There was no serious alarm that we found from the biological samples so far,” the spokesperson said. “With the chemical samples, we are still waiting on the analysis to make a determination on what could have been the case.”