Sharjah: Authorities are trying to determine the source of food contamination believed to have led to the death of a two-year-old on Saturday after her family bought food items from two different locations, Gulf News has learnt.
The toddler’s six-year-old brother was fighting for his life at Al Qasimi Hospital in Sharjah at the time of going to press on Monday as a Friday night outing turned into tragedy for the Egyptian family.
The girl, Habiba Hesham Abdul Rahman, was buried on Sunday in Sharjah following confirmation by doctors and police that she had died of food poisoning. Her brother Abdul Rahman remains under observation in a critical condition.
“Habiba was buried in Sharjah and we pray to Allah to send her to paradise,” her father Hesham Abdul Rahman told Gulf News on Monday. “This is a test from Allah and thanks to Him for everything. Now we pray to Allah to save Abdul Rahman and that he will recover soon.”
“Doctors determined that the death was caused by food poisoning,” a police official told Gulf News. The case is being investigated by Sharjah Police and the body was transferred to a forensic laboratory for autopsy before it was handed over to the family for the last rites, the official said.
The source of the food contamination has not been ascertained but the father said his children had eaten food stuff purchased from two separate locations.
At a grocery store in Sharjah, the family purchased “water, juice and crisps” which the children consumed, the father said. Later in the evening, the father said he bought a box of candy after they “stopped in a shopping mall and children chose what they wanted”.
“On Friday when we returned home my children started vomiting and their condition became worse. I took them to a private hospital where they gave them injections and some tablets to stop the vomiting. Later, when we returned back home again around 2:30am the children started throwing up again,” the father said. “Then I took them to Al Qasimi hospital.”
According to the father, Sharjah Municipality has started an investigation. Municipal officials took samples of the leftover food for medical testing.
Dr Khalid Khalfan, paediatric surgery consultant at Al Qasimi Hospital, confirmed on Monday that both children had fallen ill after consuming unhygienic food.
In such cases, the police inform the Sharjah Municipality, which then sends a team including inspectors and doctors to check the suspected source of the poisoning.