Saturday, December 11, 2010

Food Poisoning, Singapore Sports School

Update of investigation into food poisoning incident at Singapore Sports School

    To simplify complications is the FIRST essential of success. (Click here) 

1. The Ministry of Health (MOH), National Environment Agency (NEA) and Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) have concluded investigations into a food poisoning incident reported at the Singapore Sports School (SSP) on 4 November 2010, involving a licensed caterer, ISS Catering Services Pte Ltd. The incident involved 106 cases, including 11 who needed outpatient treatment. All patients have since recovered.

2. Our investigations showed a common source outbreak of gastroenteritis consistent with bacterial food poisoning. While the exact cause of food poisoning could not be established without positive patient samples, we have identified cordial drinks and chicken frank rolls as the suspected cause of the incident.

3 Our investigations showed that the cordial drinks served to students were prepared by ISS Catering Services Pte Ltd at the school using a plastic bucket which was not clearly labelled. Clear labelling of containers used for food preparation is important to minimise the risks of cross-contamination. One of the food handlers in ISS Catering Services Pte Ltd at Singapore Sports School was also tested positive for Salmonella. MOH has required the food handler to stop working from the time of the outbreak until she was certified fit on 7 Dec 2010.

4 A joint investigation at Wei Cian Foods Pte Ltd (where the chicken frank rolls were produced) was also conducted. The food handlers there tested negative for foodborne pathogens although one food handler was observed to handle ready-to-eat food with his bare hands. Of the six food samples taken from Wei Cian Foods Pte Ltd, only one chicken frank roll sample was detected with 10 cfu/g of Bacillus cereus. This bacteria may cause food poisoning if bacteria levels reaches a level > 100,000cfu/g and produces enterotoxin. However, the low level of Bacillus cereus detected in the sample was not significant to be the cause of food poisoning and Bacillus cereus enterotoxin was not detected.

    To simplify complications is the FIRST essential of success. (Click here) 

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