Authorities in Singapore are investigating a foodborne outbreak linked to a home-based business that has sickened 15 people.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) and Singapore Food Agency (SFA) reported those sick had gastroenteritis symptoms after having food prepared by The Peachy Sugarmaker Pte Limited on Aug. 5 and 7.

Nine people have been hospitalized and are in stable condition. The agent responsible has not been reported.

SFA prohibited the distribution and sale of food prepared by The Peachy Sugarmaker beginning Aug. 13 and until further notice. The company makes cakes and biscuits.

The agency reminded food operators, including home-based businesses, to observe good food and personal hygiene practices at all times and said it will not hesitate to take action against anyone found to be violating the regulations.

Can recall and hygiene grade change
In other news, the SFA has posted a warning revealing Koo brand canned vegetable products from South Africa were imported into the country.

Tiger Brands’ recall of canned vegetables, beans and spaghetti had already spread to Australia and New Zealand as well as other parts of Africa and the United Kingdom. In total, 20 million cans were recalled in late July because of a packaging fault, which posed a risk of microbial contamination.

SFA directed the importer, Walluco Pte Ltd, to recall affected batches of the implicated products.

Finally, SFA has changed a restaurant’s food hygiene grade after two people were reported to have typhoid fever and needed hospital treatment after eating there in January this year.

Hooi Kee Eating House in Singapore Shopping Centre has seen its score drop from “B” to “C” beginning Aug. 13. This will be reviewed in 12 months and the premises will be kept under surveillance.

An inspection by the Ministry of Health and Singapore Food Agency in February found several hygiene lapses and enforcement was taken against the licensee. The operating license of the food shop was also suspended by SFA from Feb. 11 to March 18.

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