"There were 27 children admitted to the emergency department with symptoms compatible with food poisoning, all stable and, so far, with no need for hospitalisation", a source at Faro Hospital explained.

The Faro District Command of Rescue Operations (CDOS) said the incident had occurred at the Dr João Lúcio primary school, in Fuseta, in Olhão.

Contacted by Lusa news agency, the mayor of Olhão, António Pina, said he was "trying to find out details", indicating that it was possibly a case of food poisoning.

The mayor added that the supply of meals to the school in question is provided by the Portuguese Red Cross. "It's contracted with them," he added.

Lusa tried unsuccessfully to contact the Faro-Loulé branch of the Red Cross.

Faro CDOS also said there were two Red Cross ambulances on the scene, three from the National Medical Emergency Institute (INEM) and an ambulance from the Humanitarian Association of Firefighters Faro-Cruz Lusa.

The alert for this occurrence was at 15:50, according to information available on the website of the National Authority for Emergency and Civil Protection (ANEPC).