Kiwi fruit possibly linked to statewide allergic-like reactions
By: Rachael Perry
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — The sale of kiwi fruit has been suspended from a local market following an allergic-type reaction that developed in 34 students across Rhode Island.
According to the Department of Health, the sale of kiwi fruit at Roch’s Fresh Foods in West Greenwich has been suspended until further notice. The green and seedy fruit, both cut and bagged at that location, has been possibly linked to the reactions.
“RIDOH received reports of approximately 34 students experiencing symptoms, including itching of the lips and mouth, hives and tongue swelling. Fresh kiwi fruit was consumed immediately prior to onset of these reactions,” said Department of Health spokesman Joseph Wendelken.
“Roch's has been very cooperative as RIDOH works with schools to ensure that all the fresh fruit from this distributor is discarded.”
According to the Department of Health, the following schools have reported reactions to the fruit:
Blackstone Valley Prep 1, Cumberland
Blackstone Valley Prep 2, Cumberland
Blackstone Valley Prep 3, Cumberland
Vartan Gregorian, Providence
Southside Elementary Charter, Providence
Globe Park School, Woonsocket
Illuminar at ACH 1st, Providence
Frank Spaziano Annex, Providence
Times 2 Academy, Providence
Nathaniel Greene, Pawtucket
Anges Hennessey, East Providence
Silver Springs, East Providence
Orlo Avenue, East Providence
“The distribution of kiwis from Roch’s Fresh Foods has been suspended. Because fruit had also been distributed to Massachusetts, RIDOH is coordinating with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health,” said Wendelken
Students who had reactions were treated with antihistamines. All improved as a result.
The cause of the reaction is still under investigation at this time.