Recent Food Poisoing The Fourth Incident In Recent Weeks
Mandarin Orchard Hotel announced the immediate suspension of their banquet kitchen on Wednesday, 5th December 2018 following a mass food poisoing incident that affected 175 people across four different events held at the same venue. A joint investigation was launched by the National Environment Agency (NEA) shortly after, with orders for the hotel to dispose of all ready-to-eat food, thawed food, and perishable food items, and to conduct a full cleaning of its premises. This is not the first case in recent weeks.
On 9th November 2018, NEA also reported that 49 people had fallen sick with food poisoning after eating food catered by Spize Restaurant's River Valley Road outlet 4 days before. Of the 49 cases, 21 were hospitalised, leading to the death of a SATS officer, Mr. Fadli Salleh, 38, about a week later. After conducting a joint inspection with the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA), NEA found several severe laspes in food hygiene within Spize's kitchen. NEA mentioned that it would take necessary enforcement actions against the establishment for these infringements.
Two weeks later, restaurant group TungLok joined in with a scandal that affected customers that were catered to by their Max Artia at Singapore Expo outlet. The 190 people affected were participating in an SCDF event - none were hospitalised and most recovered within the week. Tungloks catering licence at the Singapore Expo has since been suspended, with the caterer announcing that "the kitchen will no longer serve and prepare food until investigation results are released".
131 people, including Kindergarten 2 children and teachers, fell sick just last week after consuming food prepared by FoodTalks Caterer & Manufacturer. The food poisoning victims in question were attending a learning camp organised by Busy Bees Asia. Fortunately, the incident did not lead to any hospitalisations. NEA, AVA, and the Ministry of Health (MOH) conducted a joint inspection of the caterers premises, Shimei East Kitchen in Bedok, last Tuesday and is still investigating the incident.
Four high profile food hygiene scandals in four weeks could point out a laspe in our kitchen hygiene protoccols - do mass and large-scale caterers need stricter regulations imposed on them? Is this just a food preparation incident, is there more to these cases than meets the eye? You can find updates and more information on this string of events through the links below:
Mandarin Orchard Hotel Incident
Spize @ River Valley Incident
TungLok @ Max Artia Singapore Expo Incident
FoodTalks Caterer & Manufacturer Incident