The official, Khaled el-Khateib, said Tuesday that all 479 food poisoning cases came from the university's dormitories in the capital's Nasr City district. The poisonings occurred after a meal served at the dormitories on Monday.
Al-Azhar students plan a protest outside the university's offices later on Tuesday. On Monday, hundreds of students angered by the incident demonstrated outside the residence halls, blocking roads and chanting slogans against the university's management.
The university belongs to Al-Azhar mosque, the world's foremost seat of Sunni Muslim learning. Beside religious studies, the university awards degrees in sciences and humanities.
Egypt's top prosecutor on Tuesday ordered an investigation into the case.
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