Another Mass Food Poisoning Case in S’pore, This Time Affecting 131 Children & Teachers

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It seems like ever since the unfortunate case of the food poisoning incident by Spize, there’s a falling row of dominoes.

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.

Just four days ago, 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.

Come today, it’s reported that on Monday, there was another mass food poisoning case, and this time it involved kids as well.

Learning Camp Food Poisoning

According to reports, on Monday (26 November 2018), 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.

National Environmental Agency (NEA), Ministry of Health (MOH) and Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) declared it an outbreak of gastroenteritis, which is similar to the previous two food poisoning cases.

None of the 131 people has been hospitalized.

The three authorities had gone to the caterer’s premises to conduct an inspection, and food handlers were sent for stool screening while food and environmental samples were retrieved for testing.

The camp is organized by Learning Horizon, a subsidiary of Busy Bees, which also owns a pre-school in the premises of the old “Red House”.

Upon the incident, the camp was suspended. The director of operations and curriculum of Busy Bees said, “We are aware of a food safety incident affecting some of our K2 children and teachers, who felt unwell after consuming food prepared by an external caterer at a camp yesterday…Upon learning of this, we immediately suspended the camp and reported the incident to the Ministry of Health, NEA and ECDA (Early Childhood Development Agency), with whom we will continue to cooperate with to determine the cause.”

The camp fees would be refunded and the medical expenses would be settled by the insurers.

The caterer, FoodTalks Caterer & Manufacturer, is now under investigation.

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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.