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40 including head of catering company detained in Manisa food poisoning case

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Forty people, including the general manager of a catering firm, have been detained in relation to the food poisoning of more than 1,000 soldiers during the last couple of weeks in the western Turkish province of Manisa.

The Manisa Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office said in a statement earlier this week that the number of detentions had reached 40 and that some employees of Rota Catering were also detained after the fourth food poisoning incident at the military base in Manisa.

Rota Catering’s general manager, with whom the company parted ways due to the food poisoning incidents, was detained in Ankara on Wednesday.

Manisa Bar Association President Ali Arslan said a team of lawyers will be established to  represent the poisoned soldiers and provide free legal advice to them. Arslan also criticized the lack of precautions and said that in addition to the catering firm, the commanders and relevant ministries are also responsible for the poisoning of the soldiers.

Twenty-one employees of Rota Catering, which provided food to the military bases in Manisa, were detained last week after almost 800 soldiers were hospitalized on Saturday due to food poisoning. While most of the soldiers were released from the hospital, the contract with the catering company was canceled.

An employee of Rota Catering said they were using food that should have been thrown away for the soldiers’ meals and that soldiers were poisoned because of the spoiled ingredients. According to the employee of the firm, the Provincial Directorate of Agriculture was unable to inspect the catering company because it is situated on the military base.

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