131 people down with gastroenteritis after consuming food from FoodTalks

The outbreak of gastroenteritis traced to the consumption of food prepared by FoodTalks Caterer & Manufacturer is currently being investigated. PHOTO: FOODTALKS CATERER & MANUFACTURER

SINGAPORE - In yet another case of food poisoning, 131 people have fallen ill after consuming food from a caterer. The victims included Kindergarten 2 children and teachers who were attending a learning camp.

In a joint statement, the National Environmental Agency (NEA), Ministry of Health (MOH) and Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) said that they were investigating an outbreak of gastroenteritis traced to the consumption of food prepared by FoodTalks Caterer & Manufacturer, located at Shimei East Kitchen in Bedok, on Monday (Nov 26).

As of Tuesday, 131 cases of gastroenteritis have been reported. None of the victims have been hospitalised.

The MOH, NEA and AVA conducted a joint inspection of the caterer's premises on Tuesday. As part of the investigations, food handlers were sent for stool screening, and food and environmental samples were taken for testing, the agencies said.

According to Chinese daily Lianhe Zaobao, the food poisoning victims had attended a learning camp organised by Busy Bees Asia.

In a statement to The Straits Times on Wednesday, Busy Bees Asia's director of operations and curriculum Ronald Kwong said that the camp was immediately suspended and the incident reported to the MOH, NEA and Early Childhood Development Agency. Busy Bees Asia is currently working with the agencies to determine the cause of the food poisoning.

"All affected have received the required medical attention, and none of our students or teachers had to be admitted to hospital and were discharged within the same day," Mr Kwong said.

It is the third in a series of high-profile food-poisoning incidents that have occurred in the last month.

Eighty-one people suffered gastroenteritis after eating bento boxes supplied by the River Valley outlet of restaurant Spize on Nov 6. A 38-year-old man died and at least 45 people were hospitalised.

Last week, 190 people fell ill after eating food prepared by TungLok Catering at the Max Atria at Singapore Expo. More than 1,000 bento boxes were prepared for the Singapore Civil Defence Force's public exhibition Lifesavers' Connect, which was held from last Friday to Sunday. None of the 190 affected were hospitalised.

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