Inmates Sickened by Chemical-Tainted Rice

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

At least seven inmates at the North County Correctional Facility became ill Saturday after eating rice that had accidentally been laced with diluted disinfectant cleaning solution, authorities said.

About 49 inmates from dorm No. 524 were eating dinner at the facility when deputy and medical personnel ordered them to stop eating, said Sgt. Brenda Cambra. The men were told to drink water and milk, she said.

Paramedics were called in as a precaution and as of 9:05 p.m., seven of the 49 inmates in the dorm had reported stomach pains and other symptoms, Cambra said.

An inmate server "accidentally added water from a bottle that contained a diluted portion" of the cleaning solution to the rice to "enhance its texture," Cambra said. As soon as he realized his mistake, he told deputies, she said.

The Sheriff's Department is investigating the incident, she said.

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