Almost 1,200 children in the Jilin province of northern China have fallen ill after drinking soya bean milk infected with a form of dysentery bacillus.

According to Channel News Asia, the children suffered fevers, cramps and vomiting after drinking the milk last week. The milk had been provided free of charge by the Jilin Wanfang Scientific, Industrial and Trade Ltd Co., which asked the children to drink it on a trial basis, an unnamed teacher told the newspaper.

The company’s president and a food inspector have been detained for questioning following the incident.