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Students hospitalized after eating teacher’s homemade yogurt

22 Comments
By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

It’s a teacher’s duty to nourish their students’ minds. Providing nutritional nourishment, though, is generally something better left to the school kitchen staff, as an incident this week in Nagoya illustrates.

On Wednesday morning, as part of a science class for children with special needs, a 72-year-old male teacher at Kanare Middle School fed six students, and five school staff members, yogurt that he had cultivated at home. Each person consumed two to four tablespoons, and about two and a half hours later two third-year students who had partaken of the fermented foodstuff began to experience stomach pains and headaches, followed by repeated vomiting, requiring them to be taken to the hospital by ambulance. Another student, a first-year pupil, threw up on their way home from school, and two of the school staff members vomited after arriving home later that same day.

As to why the teacher was handing out spoonfuls of yogurt, we have to go back to that same science class on February 22. As part of the day’s lesson, the teacher mixed milk with either store-bought yogurt or some sort of starter culture (current reports are inconsistent on that detail), then took the mixture home to ferment for a week before bringing it back for the class to eat. Thankfully, all five who experienced symptoms have recovered, and the yogurt that was in their systems appears to present no further danger. The school board is currently investigating what exactly went wrong in the yogurt-making process and caused the food poisoning.

“I wanted them to learn about lactic acid through experiments,” the teacher said following the incident, along with “I wanted to convey to them that there are bacteria that are useful in our lives.” Those are admirable goals, and while there’s a lot to be said for learning-by-doing, in hindsight it definitely seems like reading about the yogurt-making process in a textbook would have been the smarter call, especially when there are other tasty things to eat in Nagoya.

Sources: Tokai TV via Yahoo! Japan News, TBS News Dig, Chunichi Shimbun

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© SoraNews24

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22 Comments
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As part of a science class it would have been hugely more educative for the professor to teach the students about the proper ways to ensure the safety of people taking part of an experiment. Obviously the professor was not expecting for things to go wrong with making yogurt, but as part of his professional duties he should have made sure first things were ok before feeding it to other people, specially the students.

Fortunately it was just a mild incident, things could have gone much worse.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

'Homemade yoghurt'?

Headline made my stomach churn.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

took the mixture home to ferment for a week

If you're going to teach kids about making yoghurt, at least first learn how to make yoghurt yourself! It takes only 7 to 8 hours to complete the fermentation, certainly no more than 12 hours.

The point with fermentation is that you're actively encouraging the beasties to multiply. Start off with a sterile environment, introduce the yoghurty beasties, and seal it up tight for the 8 hours so that no unwelcome beasties can get in. Even then there's bound to be a few that float in on the air, especially in a non-sterile space like a school classroom. If the yoghurt goes in the fridge after the 8 hours, the unwelcome beasties don't get a chance to multiply to dangerous levels. Sir gave the unwelcome beasties a whole week to rack up their numbers.

“I wanted to convey to them that there are bacteria that are useful in our lives.”

And instead you reinforced the common idea that all bacteria are bad.

Homemade yoghurt tastes way better (and is way cheaper) than the shop-bought stuff. Pity that Sir has probably put his whole class and their families off any kind of yoghurt, for life.

Brings to mind the old saying, Them wot can, do; them wot can't, teach.

(Apologies to all the good, conscientious teachers out there!)

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Sounds like a euphemism.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

At least try eating it yourself first

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I make my own yoghurt every second day for last one year

no problems whatsoever

4 ( +7 / -3 )

There is nothing wrong with homemade yogurt if it is made properly. You can buy culture kits to make your own. Obviously this clown had no idea what he was doing and cultured salmonella with his yogurt.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I make my own yoghurt every second day for last one year

no problems whatsoever

Well he makes his every week

1 ( +2 / -1 )

A 72 year old teacher?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

“I wanted them to learn about lactic acid through experiments,” 

where do they find these lunatics?

they’re kids! Why the heck would they need to know about lactic acids?

the teacher mixed milk with either store-bought yogurt or some sort of starter culture 

some sort of starter culture……..

I hope whoever is responsible for hiring this teacher or more to the point whoever DOESN’T fire this fool, gets punished as well.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

72? I thought this must be in some rural area where they can't find new teachers. Nope! Its actually in the middle of Nagoya. This man just come across as reckless and irresponsible. Probably lives in a pigsty at home.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

“I wanted to convey to them that there are bacteria that are useful in our lives.” 

And some that make you sick. The students certainly have learned something important, which they will remember for a long time.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

A school teacher's job and duty is to feed the minds of his students. Not their bodies. So even when his students had come no harm after he had fed them youghout he made, he had commited a crime and, should be punished accordingly. But when all students who had eaten the youghout he made were sickened, this teacher should be given double the sentence.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

We have made yogurt every day for years. Never had a problem. We make the thick Greek style.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

“I wanted them to learn about lactic acid through experiments,” the teacher said following the incident, 

Japan needs more of these kind of teachers.

As part of a science class it would have been hugely more educative for the professor to teach the students about the proper ways to ensure the safety of people taking part of an experiment. Obviously the professor was not expecting for things to go wrong with making yogurt, but as part of his professional duties he should have made sure first things were ok before feeding it to other people, specially the students.

Interesting non-scientific personal opinion. Interesting for its naivete.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I buy a tub of yoghurt once a week and use it as a culture to make my own, two, three or sometimes four times a week. All the utensils get sterilised before I start, never had any problem with unwelcome beasties.

Once the fermentation is complete I cool the yoghurt in the fridge overnight, and next day strain it to make nice thick Greek-style. The whey that is produced gets used in bread making. Waste not, want not.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

My missus makes her own yoghurt, dunno how she does it all, not my cup of tea so to speak

She enjoys doing it and it keeps her occupied, bless her.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The students learned the difference between lab researcher and lab rat.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Interesting non-scientific personal opinion. Interesting for its naivete.

You like to make baseless assumptions about what other commenters of the site are or do for a living, but that is a very poor argument to sustain the accusations, Unless you can provide evidence of what employment and qualifications other people have it is against the rules to accuse them of being or not something just because you want to imagine so.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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