Another Alleged Mass Food Poisoning in S’pore, This Time a Wedding Lunch

Image: John M Anderson / (Image is for illustration purpose only)

It seems like mass food poisoning has indeed been a falling row of dominoes in Singapore.

Lest you’re unaware, it started with an unfortunate case on 6 November 2018. 81 people suffered gastroenteritis after consuming bento sets from Spize in River Valley. 45 people were hospitalized and unfortunately, one man has passed on. The outlet remains closed.

On 23 November 2018, another mass food poisoning incident occurred, this time catered by a well-known brand, TungLok Catering. Over in Singapore Expo, 190 people reported ill after eating food by the caterer, and the TungLok Catering in Expo has temporarily ceased operation. In this case, no one was hospitalized, and the caterer is working with NEA, MOH and AVA in their investigations.

Then, three days later, 131 kids and teachers who were attending a learning camp fell ill after consuming catered food prepared by FoodTalks Caterer & Manufacturer, located at Shimei East Kitchen in Bedok.

With the influx of mass food poisoning, and the fact that more people would be catering food during the festive season, the National Environment Agency (NEA) and the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) have ramped up their efforts in checking food establishments.

In addition to the checks, the authorities also reminded us to consume any catered food within the stipulated “consume by” period.

But what if it’s a wedding lunch instead?

Today, it’s reported that there’s yet another case of mass food poisoning, this time in a wedding lunch.

Alleged Mass Food Poisoning in Mandarin Orchard Singapore

On Sunday (2 December 2018), more than 400 guests attended a wedding lunch in Mandarin Orchard Singapore, and “dozens” fell ill after that. The father of the bride was even hospitalized, though it’s uncertain how bad the situation is at this current moment.

According to reports, the authorities have stepped in to investigate. A spokesman said that they are now “looking into reported cases of food poisoning among banquet guests of the hotel so that we can render every possible support and assistance” and that they are also “fully cooperating with the National Environment Agency, the Ministry of Health, the Public Utilities Board, and the Agri-food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore who immediately conducted a joint inspection of our premises and have taken food and environmental samples for testing.”

The staff members who handled the food during the wedding lunch has been temporarily suspended until they are cleared by the authorities.

In addition, the hotel won’t be serving raw food during the investigation period.

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The number of people who has fallen ill from this incident hasn’t been confirmed.

What exactly is gastroenteritis?

You can just call gastroenteritis food poisoning, but some called it the “stomach flu”.

The most common cause of gastroenteritis is of course consumption of contaminated food or water due to a virus, and the most common types are the rotavirus and norovirus.

When one has gastroenteritis, the stomach and intestines are irritated and inflamed due to the virus.

Usually, it gets better by itself, though one might want to seek medical attention if he or she has a fever and the symptoms didn’t go off after a few days.

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