Goodwood Park bakery licence suspended after 76 food poisoning cases linked to durian pastries

A file photo of a Goodwood Park Hotel durian pastry.
A file photo of a Goodwood Park Hotel durian pastry.PHOTO: GOODWOOD PARK HOTEL

SINGAPORE - The National Environment Agency (NEA) has suspended the licence of Goodwood Park Hotel's bakery after 76 cases of food poisoning related to durian pastries prepared at the hotel were reported between March and this month.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) and NEA began investigating after the first incident was reported on March 15.

A second incident was reported on April 4, after which MOH stepped up its investigations and inspected the bakery.

Subsequently MOH, NEA and the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) held joint investigations at the hotel on April 13 after more incidents were reported.

MOH found the common link between the cases was the consumption of durian pastries from the hotel bakery.

Though lapses in food handling were found, there were no hygiene lapses or pests found on the premises. AVA did not find any lapses in safety from food suppliers to the hotel, and there were no cases of food poisoning reported at other establishments that used durian pulp from the same suppliers.

Stool samples from the affected parties as well as food handlers are being screened by MOH, and the ministry will only allow handlers who have been certified medically fit to resume work after the bakery re-opens.

All food handlers will also be required to retake and pass the Basic Food Hygiene course again.

Goodwood Park Hotel has said it is cooperating with the agencies following the suspension of the bakery's licence.

During this period, it added it will not be able to produce desserts for the following restaurants, namely Gordon Grill, L'Espresso, Coffee Lounge and Deli. It has sourced from reputable establishments alternatives to replace the affected desserts.

"We would like to assure the public and all our guests that we treat all matters relating to food safety standards very seriously," said the hotel in a statement to the media.

Further investigations are ongoing.