Daycare center kitchen worker fired after children ingest bleach

Daycare center kitchen worker fired after children ingest bleach

A kitchen worker’s mistake is being blamed for 28 children and two adults at a Downtown Jersey City daycare center accidentally ingesting a mixture of bleach and water and being taken to the hospital, where they were later released.

Yesterday morning, the 65 children at the day care were having a snack of fruit and water, said Pete Kearney, executive director of the Growing Tree Learning Center II at 150 5th St.

A kitchen worker on her first day at the job mistakenly picked up a repurposed gallon milk container to fill cups for the children and did not realize there was a label on it saying “mixed bleach and water.” She poured cups for the children and they were brought to the classrooms, Kearney said.

A teacher noticed a smell of bleach and immediately stopped the children from drinking the water, collected the cups and 911 was called. They did not know which children drank the water so all children served with it were taken to the hospital, according to Kearney.

“It was a mistake,” said Kearney. “The bottle should have been labeled better, the container should not have been repurposed … We have spoken to all our parents and they were very upset and we are as well. I’ve been here 16 years and nothing like this has ever happened.”

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