SINGAPORE - The Singapore Food Agency (SFA) has suspended the licences of two caterers after 39 people in two separate cases suffered from gastroenteritis recently.
Those affected in the cases on Aug 31 and Sept 2 became ill after consuming food from Mum's Kitchen Catering and Cherish Delights.
In a joint statement on Wednesday (Sept 11), the Ministry of Health (MOH) and SFA said that they were investigating the gastroenteritis incidents.
Three of the affected people were hospitalised, and while two have been discharged, one is still in the hospital and in stable condition, SFA and MOH said.
In the light of the incidents, SFA suspended the licences of Mum's Kitchen Catering on Tuesday, and Cherish Delights on Wednesday, until further notice.
Food handlers working in the caterers' suspended premises are required to reattend and pass the Basic Food Hygiene Course before they can resume working.
Food hygiene officers at the two premises will have to reattend and pass the Food Hygiene Officers Course before they can resume their work.
MOH and SFA said that the two premises as well as the utensils and equipment there need to be cleaned and sanitised.
"Food safety is a joint responsibility. SFA would like to remind food operators to observe good food and personal hygiene practices at all times," the statement said.
"SFA will not hesitate to take firm action against anyone found to be in violation of the Environmental Public Health Act."
SFA advised consumers to call its contact centre on 6805-2871 with details if they come across poor hygiene practices in food establishments.
When contacted on Thursday, a spokesman for Mum’s Kitchen Catering said that the caterer “deeply regrets the inconvenience caused to all its customers” during its suspension period.
She said that the caterer is investigating the matter and has “taken immediate steps to review the whole supply chain process and practices”.
“We have also requested our external food consultants to audit the entire supply chain and food processes once again. SFA and MOH have also visited our premises and we are cooperating with them to investigate into the cause of the incident,” she said.
Caterer Cherish Delight could not be reached for comment.
On Thursday, an SFA spokesman declined to provide more information on both incidents as investigations are ongoing.