The preventive medicine committee established by the Zagazig University chairman Mohamed Abdel Aal stated on Monday in its report that the conditions at its dorm kitchens are unacceptable.
The committee was established to look into the condition of the dorm kitchens when 150 residents were rushed to hospital on Friday after suffering from food poisoning.
In its report, the committee stated that the cooking areas inside the dorms are filled with spiders, garbage and rusty water-pipes, reported state-owned Al-Ahram. It added that most of the kitchen’s windows are broken.
“All the kitchens are unacceptable due to their lack of cleanliness and the presence of bacteria,” the report read. The committee recommended the renovation of the kitchens.
The medical report on the poisoned students’ health status is yet to be released, Al-Ahram reported. The university chairman had ordered the closing down and renovation of the dorm kitchens after the poisoning incident. To replace the meals in the interim, Abdel Aal allocated an EGP 15 daily food allowance for each student until the kitchens reopen.
Students protested the allowance, calling it insufficient. Amr Al-Waseefi, a student and dorm resident, said, “EGP 15 is not enough. We can barely afford a quarter of a chicken with that sum, and it’s supposed to last us all day long.”
Al-Waseefi said that the students have been conducting a sit-in inside the dorms since Sunday, preventing entry and exit of workers.
“We want to be heard,” Al-Waseefi said. “We want Abdel Aal to come to us so that we can put forward our demands.”
The students are demanding the dismissal of the university deputy chairman, Ahmed Refaai, the university dorms manager, Ahmed Shaarawi, and the official responsible for providing food within the dorms, Al-Waseefi said. They are also demanding an alternate solution to the absence of meal supply other than the EGP 15 allowance.
“We want the Armed Forces to provide us with our daily meals as they did with Al-Azhar University dorm after their food-poisoning incident,” Al-Waseefi said.
Last April, hundreds of students in Al-Azhar University suffered food poisoning in two separate incidents. An investigation launched into the incidents led to the conclusion that the reason for the poisoning was Salmonella strain of bacteria, according to the Health Ministry.