Recently, a Hawaiian high school student escaped possibly contracting a devastating disease by spotting a snail in his school’s cafeteria lunch.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, foodborne diseases result in sickness for an estimated 48 million Americans, hospitalization for 128,000, and death for 3,000. Recently a Hawaiian high school student escaped possibly becoming one of those statistics by spotting a snail in his school’s cafeteria lunch.
Sarah Park, an epidemiologist from Hawaii state, said the student could have gotten a devastating illness requiring months if not years to overcome. Snails, or slugs, can carry parasites that affect the central nervous system and cause rat lungworm disease.
School officials at the Big Island’s Kealakehe High School are responding quickly to address the issue and prevent any future occurrences. According to the principal, cafeteria staff washed the salad’s ingredients well, but recent batches of lettuce have contained more snails than normal and the one missed was wedged inside a leaf.
The principal also reported that all cafeteria employees have committed to being more careful when inspecting, washing, and preparing produce and other food for the school’s meals.