10 people get prison terms in al-Azhar University food poisonings

Nov. 27, 2013 at 12:41 PM

CAIRO, Nov. 27 (UPI) -- A court in Cairo sentenced two al-Azhar University employees each to five years in prison in a food poisoning case in which nearly 700 students were sickened.

Mahmoud Ahmed Ibrahim, the university's housing director, and Ali Mahmoud Abdel Hafez, head of the school's kitchen nutrition department, were sentenced for the food-poisoning of hundreds of students in two instances in April and also were fined, Ahram Online reported Wednesday.

Eight chefs were sentenced to one-month prison sentences each, al-Masry al-Youm reported.

The food-poisoning incidents touched off protests by students, some of whom called for the firing of Grand Imam Ahmed el-Tayyeb, who oversees the al-Azhar religious and educational institutions in Egypt.

Egypt's Health Ministry said at the time the second instance was the result of salmonella.

Al-Azhar operates mosques, universities, schools and charities, and also issues religious edicts, Ahram Online reported.

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