The Singapore Food Agency (SFA) has suspended the license of a restaurant linked to a food poisoning outbreak that left six people needing hospital treatment.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) and SFA are investigating the incident affecting 26 people who were reported to have gastroenteritis symptoms after consuming food prepared by Eng’s Heritage between Jan. 7 and 9. The agent responsible for illness and food vehicle have not yet been disclosed by authorities.

Five people are currently hospitalized in a stable condition. One other person has been discharged from the hospital.

The SFA suspended the license of Eng’s Heritage in Northpoint City mall until further notice. The outlet has been told to clean and sanitize the premises, including equipment and utensils.

Staff retraining
All food handlers working in the suspended premises are required to re-attend and pass a basic food hygiene course before they can resume such work.

The food hygiene officer or officers working at the site must re-attend and pass the food hygiene officer course before they can restart work.

Gastroenteritis causes diarrhea and vomiting. Symptoms can appear up to a day after becoming infected and usually last about a week. To reduce the chance of getting or spreading gastroenteritis always wash hands with soap and water after going to the toilet and before preparing or eating food. Don’t prepare food for others if you feel unwell.

People can get gastroenteritis by eating or drinking contaminated food but viruses such as norovirus can be transmitted from person to person, or via environmental surfaces, especially as a result of poor personal hygiene.

The SFA said it would not hesitate to take action against violations of the Environmental Public Health Act.

“In the interest of maintaining a high standard of food hygiene at all eating establishments, we would also like to advise members of the public who come across poor hygiene practices in food establishments not to patronize such outlets but to report to SFA via the online feedback form with details for our follow-up investigations.”

(To sign up for a free subscription to Food Safety News, click here.)