Preschool Children OK After Eating Yucca Root

 
by Taylor Viydo, tviydo@k2tv.com 
 
Between 12 and 15 Laramie preschoolers were taken to the hospital as a precautionary measure after eating yucca root earlier today.
 
Yucca (or yuca) is a small-cactus like plant with roots that are potentially toxic if not properly prepared. Both a plant and a potato variety of yucca are edible if cooked.

Ivinson Memorial Hospital spokeswoman Dee Bott says the children are OK and will likely not become sick due to the small amount of yucca they ate. The children were taken to the hospital for observation and have all since been released. 
 
Bott says that the Albany County School district first notified the hospital around 11 a.m. on Tuesday morning. Albany County School District notified the Centers for Disease Control of the situation, and the CDC confirmed that yucca needs to be cooked in order to be eaten safely. 
 
According to a ACSD press release, the preschoolers were fed the yucca as part of the "Fresh Fruit and Produce Program" operated by food-service company Sodexo. 
 
Yucca was served at Slade Elementary, UW Lab School, Linford Elementary, Laramie Montessori, and Snow Range Academy, said ACSD. As of Tuesday afternoon, Sodexho was unable to confirm whether the plant or potato variety of yucca was delivered to the schools.

According to Bott, all parents of the students that ate yucca were notified.
 
"Due to the small amount ingested, it is unlikely that the kids will become sick," said Bott. "Symptoms to watch for are stomachache, cramping, nausea, and diarrhea." Bott added that most of the children who were given yucca spit the food out.
 
Albany County School District says it will pay for any related medical expenses for children who ate yucca.