The Singapore Food Agency (SFA) has lifted the suspension on a caterer after an investigation into a Salmonella outbreak that affected more than 250 people.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) and SFA traced a Salmonella Enteritidis outbreak between March 19 and 28 to the consumption of food prepared at Kate’s Catering Pte Ltd.

The operating license of Kate’s Catering Pte. Ltd. had been suspended by SFA for 52 days until May 16. SFA officials said it was satisfied measures required to rectify lapses have been implemented and operations can restart.

The outbreak of food poisoning involved 259 cases from 13 PCF Sparkletots Preschools and P.L.A.N Student Care Centre who consumed food from Kate’s Catering between March 19 to 25. A total of 33 patients were hospitalized and have since been discharged. Salmonella Enteritidis was detected from stool samples collected from 46 patients.

Food safety lapses included:

  • improper thawing of frozen meat;
  • transitioning between handling of ready-to-eat food and raw meat items;
  • inconsistency in staff’s understanding and differentiation in use of various sets of knives for ready-to-eat and raw food;
  • lack of proper measures to check if food was properly cooked.

During the suspension period, Kate’s Catering Pte. Ltd. disposed of all ready-to-eat, thawed and perishable food items.

The company has cleaned and sanitized the premises, including equipment and utensils and has submitted details on enhanced food safety regimes, including plans and processes to ensure staff practice good food hygiene and proper food preparation at all times, according to authorities.

The SFA is reviewing findings of the investigations and will take action against the licensee for the issues found. The agency will also place Kate’s Catering Pte. Ltd. under surveillance to ensure the caterer adheres to what it submitted in the plans.

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