GEORGE TOWN - Forty-one pupils at a primary school in Bayan Lepas near here fell ill after drinking soy milk yesterday.
The children from Year Four to Six of SK Mutiara Perdana here, were among 481 pupils who received the free drinks during a two-day soy milk programme.
State Education director Ahmad Tarmizi Kamaruddin said those affected complained of stomach pain and nausea at 10am and were rushed to Penang Hospital where they received outpatient treatment.
He also ordered an immediate halt to the programme which covered 200 primary schools in Penang, Kedah and Perak while the Health Department took food and drink samples from the school canteen.
The programme held jointly with a local drinks company, was aimed at promoting healthy living and recycling. "The health team had taken the empty cartons for tests.
"We don't know what the cause was as the drinks were only due to expire next year," he said.
Year Six pupil Qayyum Roslan, 12, said he barely 30 minutes after drinking the soy milk, he started experiencing stomach ache.
"Our classroom was in chaos as two of my friends vomited while others were crying out in pain."