Delizio Catering food hygiene grade cut to 'C' after 18 fell ill from food poisoning

18 people were reported to have gastroenteritis symptoms after consuming food provided by Delizio Catering at a Christmas party in December 2018. PHOTO: DELIZIO CATERING/FACEBOOK

SINGAPORE - Another caterer has had its food hygiene rating downgraded after a food poisoning incident, according to a notice on the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) website.

Delizio Catering had its food hygiene grade cut to "C" from its previous "A" grade with effect from Monday (June 3) after 18 people were reported to have gastroenteritis symptoms after consuming food provided by the caterer.

Gastroenteritis symptoms include diarrhoea and vomiting.

Those who were affected had attended a Christmas party on Dec 12 for one of Delizio Catering's customers, said Ms Florence Sjah, the caterer's marketing communications manager.

She told The Straits Times in an e-mail on Wednesday that the caterer had sponsored a free buffet for 135 people, and had also done a musical programme for the event.

As it was a Christmas party, the food prepared were mostly Western dishes, she added.

The customer was not compensated after the food poisoning incident as the buffet had been sponsored as part of Delizio Catering's corporate social responsibility programme, said Ms Sjah.

In response to queries from ST, an SFA spokesman said that foodborne pathogens were detected in the stool samples of those affected.

"Delizio Catering has since rectified the lapses and stepped up on the upkeep and maintenance of their premises and equipment," said the spokesman.

Ms Sjah said that the caterer had reviewed its processes and taken action to improve them, from receiving raw ingredients to delivery of food to customers.

The food caterer's premises at 5 Burn Road, Tee Yih Jia Food Building will be kept under surveillance until the food hygiene grade is reviewed in 12 months, said the SFA notice.

SFA said that the public may view the revised hygiene grade of the caterer on its website after the review.

According to the caterer's website, Delizio Catering offers its services for events such as seminars, home parties and corporate functions.

It is a halal-certified catering company that provides Western, Chinese, Indian, Turkish and international-style cuisine.

The SFA spokesman added that food operators are reminded to adhere to good food hygiene and preparation practices. Temperature control helps to keep food safe by preventing harmful bacteria from multiplying to unsafe levels, she said.

As bacteria grow most rapidly between 5 deg C and 60 deg C, it is important to keep hot food above 60 deg C and cold food below 5 deg C always, she added.

About two weeks ago, food caterer Elsie's Kitchen had its food hygiene grade cut to "C" after 52 people fell ill after eating its food in February.

In May, 59 people fell ill from eating food at two homes at Pelangi Village, a social welfare complex in Buangkok.

In March, a gastroenteritis outbreak affected 13 PCF Sparkletots Preschools and P.L.A.N Student Care Centre. There were 259 cases in total.

The source of food poisoning was traced to the consumption of food prepared at Kate's Catering, and its operating licence was suspended for a total of 52 days before the suspension was lifted on May 17.

In February, ST reported that catering company Team Catering's food hygiene grade had been downgraded to "C" after 179 Raffles Institution students fell ill after consuming its food at a graduation event last October.

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