Prevent Further Complications

Food poisoning turns fatal

RAGANANTHINI VETHASALAM

PETALING JAYA: A food poisoning incident that resulted in two deaths and left 82 people with symptoms in Gombak is believed to have originated from a meal of fried bihun and fried eggs, according to the Selangor Health Department.

“The department received a report on food poisoning following the Program Kemahiran Amal Islami in Gombak on Saturday (June 8), which involved 30 primary schools,” state health director Dr Ummi Kalthom Shamsudin said in a statement yesterday.

“Investigations showed that out of the 247 people who ate the meal, 82 people (33%) exhibited symptoms, and two died,” she added.

Dr Ummi Kalthom said the victims had experienced symptoms after having the meal for breakfast, which was catered by an external provider.

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She said there were changes in the appearance and taste of the fried eggs served.

The victims included organisers, teachers, school staff and family members, aged between 19 months and 58 years. Reported symptoms included diarrhoea, stomach ache, fever, vomiting and nausea.

“A total of 28 cases received outpatient treatment. There were no hospital admissions.

“Two people died without receiving treatment from any healthcare facilities,” she added.

Dr Ummi Kalthom said the first fatality was a 17-year-old boy and the second was a 19-month-old toddler.

“Both victims are believed to have eaten the food that their family members brought home,” she said.

She said investigations are ongoing to detect new cases and that steps have been taken to control any potential outbreak.

Food samples have been sent to the National Public Health Laboratory in Sungai Buloh to identify the exact cause of the food poisoning.

She also advised those experiencing symptoms to seek immediate treatment at any healthcare facilities to prevent further complications from food poisoning.

At the same time, programme organisers and the public have been advised to be careful when choosing food premises or suppliers and to ensure their hygiene.

Dr Ummi Kalthom said food suppliers must always adopt food safety and hygiene practices.

Meanwhile, Education Minister Fadhlina Sidek extended condolences to the families of the victims of the food poisoning incident.

She clarified that the incident did not involve any educational institutions under her ministry.

She also reminded all educational institutions to always comply with existing guidelines on the organising of events and food preparations.

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