Spize Fined $32K For Mass Food Poisoning Incident in 2018 That Led to a Man’s Death

Food poisoning is not a trivial illness.

Mild cases may simply feel like they’re pooping out their vital organs, but in severe cases, it can lead to long-term health complications and even death.

Unfortunately, that’s what happened to one man in 2018.

Mass Poisoning

In 2018, when Ed Sheeran first told us how perfect his darling looked, a mass poisoning incident occurred in Singapore.

On 6 Nov 2018, 88 bento sets were prepared by food establishment Spize in the morning for an order by security firm Brink’s.

The food was delivered around lunchtime to Brink’s premises at Kaki Bukit and Tai Seng.

According to court documents, an invoice issued to the firm stated that the food should be consumed within an hour of delivery.

The problem was that out of the 96 people who ended up eating the catered food, some of them brought the food home to eat, including family members of Brink’s employees.

This turned out to be a grave mistake.

63 people developed gastroenteritis symptoms and 45 were hospitalised as a result.

Later, tests revealed that most of those hospitalised had consumed food with salmonella.

Food Poisoning Led to Sepsis and Multi-organ Failure

One of the people who consumed the food was Mr Mohamad Fadli Mohd Saleh, an auxiliary police officer attached to Brink’s.

The 38-year-old ate the food between 2.53pm and 4pm at the Kaki Bukit premises before returning home.

Later that night, Mr Fadli experienced bouts of diarrhoea and vomiting. He visited a clinic the next morning and was given some medication.

Unfortunately, the medication didn’t help.

On 8 Nov, his condition deteriorated and he became unresponsive.

He was rushed to the hospital and placed in the intensive care unit, but the damage had already been done.

The 38-year-old died less than a week later from sepsis and multi-organ failure, caused by acute gastroenteritis.

A month later, the operating licences of Spize and Spize Events were cancelled and both companies were charged in court for serious violations of the Environmental Public Health Act.

Fined $32,000, Convicted of 14 Offences

For their negligence and safety violations, Spize and Spize Events were fined S$32,000 on Thursday (3 Dec).

Both firms were convicted of 14 offences in total, said the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) and Singapore Food Agency (SFA).

Some of the offences include:

  • possession of food unfit for human consumption
  • hiring unregistered food handlers
  • food safety violations

Faecal Matter Found on Chopping Board & Knife

Further investigations revealed that faecal matter was detected in samples of belacan egg fried rice, raw chicken, kang kong, as well as on a chopping board and knife.

In addition, salmonella bacteria were found on the door handle, kitchen surfaces, and the rack of a cold room.

Condiments were left uncovered in the fridge, and there was no hand soap at the wash basin.

In fact, some of the food handlers were not registered with the National Environment Agency and thus, had not attended the mandatory Basic Food Hygiene Course.

As the prosecutor said, these lapses were easily preventable.

“This reveals not only the accused’s company’s blatant disregard of the law, but also its sheer lack of concern for the safety of its customers.”

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