Food contamination: 190 people fall sick, NEA suspends TungLok Catering's license at Singapore Expo


The National Environment Agency (NEA) has suspended the licence of the catering branch of the famous restaurant group TungLok at Max Atria @ Singapore Expo after 190 people became sick.

In a joint statement, the Health Ministry of Singapore, NEA and Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) said on Saturday that none of those victims was taken to hospital as their health condition was not severe.

As per the authority, they conducted the first inspection at TungLok Catering's premises on Friday, November 23 after they came to know about the first case on the same day. Later, NEA posted a notice on its website, where they said that the authority will suspend the license of TungLok Catering at Singapore Expo.

As reported the all the victims of this incident had developed symptoms of gastroenteritis, which causes diarrhoea and vomiting. This particular disease affects the human body if a person consumes food or water contaminated by bacteria or viruses.

The authorities also said that the further investigation is going on and "food handlers were sent for stool screening, and food and environmental samples were taken for testing."

In addition, NEA stated that it would like to "remind food operators to observe good food and personal hygiene practices at all times," and if anyone found to be in violation of the Environmental Public Health Act then the agency would not hesitate to take firm action against them.

This is the second incident of food contamination that affected Singaporeans this month. Earlier, almost 72 people fell sick after eating food from Spize's River Vally outlet. One of those victims, a 38-year-old Fadli Saleh, who was an auxiliary police officer also died after the incident.

The ministry, NEA and AVA suspended the license of the restaurant due to hygiene related issues, such as leaving food uncovered inside the fridge, not providing soap for hand-washing and keeping knives in a gap between food preparation tables.

This article was first published on November 24, 2018