Egypt's Al-Azhar food poisoning trial to begin Wednesday

Ahram Online , Wednesday 15 May 2013

Head of university dormitories, kitchen supervisor and eight cooks on trial for mass food poisoning that hospitalised over 500 Al-Azhar University students

The trial of ten people accused of responsibility for a mass food poisoning incident at Al-Azhar University will begin on Wednesday.

The head of the university dormitories, the kitchen supervisor and eight cooks are charged with neglect and disregarding regulations over the use and storage of food.

On 1 April, over 500 students were hospitalised with food poisoning after eating on campus. Less than a month later, a second food poisoning incident at the university made 161 students ill. 

The double scandal prompted mass demonstrations by students, some of whom called for the sacking of Grand Imam Ahmed El-Tayyeb, who oversees the Al-Azhar religious-educational system in Egypt.

Moreover, many have said the incidents were a deliberate attempt to discredit El-Tayyeb and have him replaced with a Brotherhood ally. The Brotherhood has denied the allegations.

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