The National Environment Agency (NEA) has suspended the licence of the catering arm of well-known Chinese restaurant group Tung Lok at Max Atria@Singapore Expo until further notice.
The suspension, announced on NEA’s website on Friday (23 November), came after cases of gastroenteritis – inflammation of the stomach and intestines which causes vomiting and diarrhoea – were traced to the consumption of food from Tung Lok Catering at 1 Expo Drive.
In response to queries by The Straits Times, the authorities said that 190 people had reported symptoms of gastroenteritis as of Friday. None were hospitalised.
NEA’s announcement added, “Together with MOH (Ministry of Health) and AVA (Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority), NEA is investigating multiple cases of gastroenteritis traced to the consumption of food prepared at Tung Lok Catering.
“All food handlers working at Tung Lok Catering are required to attend and pass the Basic Food Hygiene Course again, before they can resume work as food handlers.”
Second case of mass gastroenteritis this month
This is the second case of mass gastroenteritis cases traced to catered food this month.
On 9 November, NEA announced the licence suspension of Spize Restaurant at River Valley Road after 81 cases of gastroenteritis were traced to bento-box meals prepared by the Asian fusion restaurant for an event. A 38-year-old man died after suffering the illness.
In an official statement released on Saturday, Tung Lok Catering said that all food samples that were kept have been submitted for a laboratory test, as a precautionary measure.
On its kitchen operations at Singapore Expo, it said, “The kitchen will no long serve and prepare food until investigation results are released.”
It added that it will be using its main kitchen from its catering division headquarters at Tai Seng Street to cater for the rest of the events at Singapore Expo.
NEA has reminded food operators to observe good food and personal hygiene practices at all times. It added, “NEA will not hesitate to take firm action against anyone found to be in violation of the Environmental Public Health Act.”
It also advises members of the public who come across poor hygiene practices in food establishment to call its 24-hour NEA Contact Centre at 1800-2255632 with details for its follow-up investigations.