Waipahu Elementary still doesn't know what caused Tuesday's widespread sickness

By Nana Ohkawa
Published On: Dec 11 2013 01:57:00 PM HST

No cooking will take place in the kitchen of Waipahu Elementary until the source of food poisoning that sent students to the hospital is determined.

HONOLULU -

Many of the the Waipahu Elementary students who were rushed to the hospital Tuesday experiencing an after-lunch sickness returned to school Wednesday.

The school's kitchen remains closed.

Click here to watch Nana Ohkawa's report.

"I got the first call after 12:45 p.m., then 1 o'clock. Then it was consistent until the end of school," said head custodian Darselle Cossey.

Cossey won't forget Dec. 10 for a long time.  His entire afternoon was spent cleaning up vomit.

Forty people were sickened. Twenty-five were rushed to the hospital, including a few staff members.

The principal said it was probably due to food poisoning. The main meal was many of the kids' favorite -- spaghetti.

Wednesday, parents dropped their kids off upset.  

Parent Taulago Telesa, a mother of three Waipahu students, is not taking any chances. She said two of her daughters brought lunch to school Tuesday. Her first-grader refused and got sick.

"She threw up a total of five times and when I took her to the hospital, the puking stopped," Telesa said. "I brought my kids back to school but I packed them all lunches."

Food from a satellite school was served Wednesday out of the cafeteria.

Until the food service branch and state health officials finish their investigation, the school won't know what caused the sickness.

"We don't know. People were saying milk or it was a very hot day yesterday. Could be the food. We don't know," said Principal Gary Chun, who added that the school's kitchen will be closed at least until winter break.

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