In order to celebrate her daughter’s first birthday, Ms Lin Lisi, aged 35, invited her relatives and friends to celebrate the occasion.
Unexpectedly, 14 people came down with food poisoning afterwards, including her 73-year-old diabetic mother.
Since 12 August was Ms Lin’s daughter’s first birthday, she ordered three dinner caterings from Theme Catering on 11, 12 and 14 of August.
The food was set out for the guests between 6:30pm and 9:30pm every night for their consumption.
However, Ms Lin did not expect that 14 people would suffer from abdominal pain and diarrhoea in quick succession after the dinner on 12 August.
Ms Lin told Zaobao that the food served on the first and second day was the same, except the shrimp in one of the dishes was a little soft.
However, after the guests consumed the food provided on the second day, they started to show symptoms of food poisoning that night, like abdominal pain and diarrhoea.
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The patient that worries her most is her own 73-year-old diabetic mother, who had six run-ins with the toilet.
One of the consequences of diabetes is possible nerve damage, which lowers your ability to feel pain, heat, or cold, especially at extremities of the body like your feet.
As such, Ms Lin’s mother had some small cuts on her toes.
After having diarrhoea for two consecutive days, the wound turned black and started leaking pus.
The doctor could not determine if it was related to food poisoning but deduced that her body’s immunity might have become weaker because of the constant diarrhoea, or the wounds on her feet had been infected with bacteria.
Displeasure With Theme Catering
What irks Ms Lin the most is the fact that when she wanted a refund for the third dinner catering, as well as the money spent on the second day, the catering company cited that the food was already cooked and refused to refund the money.
It was only after she insisted on the refund time and time again that she managed to obtain the refund for the third dinner catering, which was around $890.
In response to media inquiries, the manager of Theme Catering Huang Juncai stated that after the company learned of the incident, they immediately inspected the food preparation procedures for that day and contacted the other customers to check on their health conditions.
The other customers who consumed their food were fine and did not have food poisoning.
At the same time, the company received a text message from Ms Lin, which said that she had packed up and saved the food afterwards.
It led them to the assumption that some of the guests might have consumed the food outside of the recommended time frame.
Ms Lin, however, denied this claim, pointing out that there were guests who started feeling discomfort early on. To veer on the safe side, she had thrown away all the food that was saved.
Mr Huang later admitted that the company owed Ms Lin an apology for not taking good care of their customer’s feelings after the food poisoning incident.
After the harried conversation between Ms Lin and Theme Catering, the latter refunded the fee for the third dinner catering. They will also remain in contact with Ms Lin, and have shown concern for the health of Ms Lin’s mother.
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The Ministry of Health is already investigating this incident.
The Singapore Food Authority (SFA) states that food safety is a shared responsibility; just as the local authorities formulate and enforce regulatory measures, catering operators have to adhere to food hygiene and meal preparation rules.
Should any company or establishment violate the laws, the corresponding punishment will be meted out, said SFA.
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Featured Image: Facebook (Theme Catering)
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