TWENTY-NINE internally displaced persons (IDP) from the series of earthquakes in Mindanao were treated for food poisoning in North Cotabato after allegedly eating donated items, disaster authorities said on Tuesday.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), citing a report from the Department of Health’s Provincial Epidemiological Surveillance Unit, said the food items came from a sponsor group in Midsayap town.

The food eaten by the victims during lunch on Monday was patel, a local dish of steamed rice with shredded chicken and egg wrapped in banana leaves.

“After four to five hours, patients complained of abdominal pain with episodes of nausea and vomiting and few have bowel movement,” the report said.

In a news conference at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City, NDRRMC Executive Director Ricardo Jalad said the food poisoning was reported initially from the western side of Kidapawan City.

“It was not traced at first who provided the food. I believe this incident was not intentional by the sponsor and we assure everyone at the evacuation centers that there will be checking of the quality of food or medicine being provided to them,” Jalad told reporters.

He also said that all the victims were safe.

According to Casiano Monilla, Civil Defense assistant secretary, 19 people were brought to a nearby hospital while 10 were treated at the regional health unit of Makilala. DEMPSEY REYES