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A Chinese High School Served Food So Bad It Started a Riot

Even though school food is rarely super delicious, it’s not usually poisonous, either. But in China, where food safety has an abominable track record, all bets are off.

High school cafeteria fare isn't usually noted for either its deliciousness or its healthiness. Hell, I went to a fancy New York City private school and I still remember some of the horrors to emerge from cafeteria, most notably the "apple crisp," a cornstarch-heavy glop of indiscernible canned apples topped with a scant sprinkling of decidedly un-crisp oats that students, sophisticated wordsmiths that were were, renamed "alien snot."


Fortunately, even though school food is rarely super delicious, it's not usually poisonous, either. But in China, where food safety has an abominable track record, all bets are off. On Thursday night, students at Puding County No. 1 High School in Guizhou, in the southeastern part of the country, were served food that social media posts claim sickened more than 400 students. As reported today by Big News Network, several students remain hospitalized after eating in the high school's canteen, and, in response, about 3,000 students rioted in their dorms early this morning, smashing windows and prompting the arrival of local Communist Party leaders.

As is typical, Party leaders were reluctant to share information about the melee; their official website, Big News reports, made mention of the riot but failed to discuss the alleged food poisoning. Disgruntled students, in addition to staging a real-world protest, also took to social media platforms such as Twitter to vent their feelings and share information about the event.

"Why were the students rioting? Because on Thursday night, the ambulances just kept coming to the campus all night," @yuni wrote. "The ambulances came from the People's Hospital, the Chinese Medicine Hospital, and the Youhao Hospital."

"The local authorities sent in large numbers of police and have locked down the whole area," another student tweeted. "But the police are just standing around and keeping watch; they didn't dare to intervene to stop the students."

Reporters at Big News reached a doctor at the People's Hospital, who reported that at least ten students remained in the hospital's care, while several others had been discharged after being put on an IV drip. None of the students were in critical condition, the doctor said.

But concrete information about the actual cause of the food poisoning appears to be hard to come by. The hospital doctor declined to comment on it, as did an official at Puding county's government offices.

The incident is not the first of its kind. Last November, more than 3,000 students at a technical college in Guangdong, a coastal center close to Hong Kong, rioted over their cafeteria's shitty food and against a school-wide ban on ordering takeout food, a human right as basic as watching the late-night, public-access television that's the natural companion for greasy delivery.

So hark, high school students (almost) everywhere: your cafeteria might suck, but at least its fare (probably) won't cause you to fall ill. Remember that the next time you're scarfing down some alien snot, or whatever your school's equivalent freakshow of a dish is.