175 ill in mass food poisoning linked to events at Mandarin Orchard Hotel ballroom

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The authorities have issued an update on the incidents of mass poisoning linked to the Grand Ballroom at Mandarin Orchard Hotel, saying 175 cases were reported to have developed symptoms of gastroenteritis.

Of these cases, nine were hospitalised and are currently stable, the Ministry of Health (MOH), National Environment Agency (NEA) and Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) said in a joint statement on Wednesday night (5 December).

The cases were related to four separate events held at the Grand Ballroom between Saturday (1 December) and Monday (3 December).

In a previous statement, the authorities said as of 9.30am on Wednesday, 42 cases were reported to have developed symptoms of gastroenteritis while four of the cases were hospitalised following a wedding lunch banquet held at the ballroom on Sunday (2 December).

MOH, NEA and AVA had begun joint investigations on Tuesday, including collecting food and environmental samples for testing. Food handlers were sent for stool screening.

Investigation into the possible causes of the incidents is ongoing. In view of the cases and suspected ongoing transmission related to the events, NEA has suspended the banquet kitchen serving the Grand Ballroom. It ordered the ballroom to dispose all ready-to-eat food, thawed food and perishable food items, and conduct thorough cleaning and sanitising of its premises.

NEA has instructed Mandarin Orchard Hotel to close the ballroom to conduct a thorough clean up and disinfection. The suspension and closure will be in place until the public health risks have been addressed.

The hotel is required to conduct a thorough cleaning and sanitisation of the banquet kitchen and the ballroom during the suspension period.

The latest mass food poisoning cases at the hotel come after 400 people were reported suffering from gastroenteritis in three separate incidents last month linked to mass catering of food.

The first occurred on 6 November, when 81 people fell sick after eating food catered by Asian fusion restaurant Spize for a Deepavali celebration. A Sats officer, 38-year-old Fadli Salleh, died in hospital about a week later.

On 23 November, 190 people fell ill after eating food from Tung Lok Catering at a Singapore Civil Defence Force event at Max Atria@Singapore Expo. None of the 190 affected were hospitalised.

On 26 November, 131 kindergarten pupils and teachers fell ill after eating food from FoodTalks Caterer & Manufacturer during a learning camp.

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Man dies after gastroenteritis outbreak at Spize Restaurant at River Valley