The River Valley branch of popular Asian fusion restaurant Spize has been suspended, following a gastroenteritis outbreak traced to the consumption of food prepared there, said the Ministry of Health (MOH), National Environment Agency (NEA) and Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) in a joint media statement on Friday evening (9 November).
According to the three agencies, a total of 49 cases have been verified. 21 people have been hospitalised. Investigations are ongoing, with food and environmental samples collected from the restaurant and stool samples collected from some of the affected cases.
The restaurant’s food handlers have also been referred for stool screening.
MOH, NEA and AVA were first notified of the cases on Thursday. They conducted a joint inspection of the restaurant’s premises, located at 409 River Valley Road, on the same day.
“Several hygiene lapses were observed, including leaving ready-to-eat food uncovered in a chiller, not providing soap for hand-washing (soap dispenser was faulty) and slotting knives for preparing ready-to-eat food in the gap between the food preparation tables,” said the statement.
“The operator has been instructed to rectify them immediately.”
Earlier on Friday, Spize Restaurant posted a statement on Facebook, saying that it is “committed to take any necessary action required”.
With effect from Friday, NEA has suspended the licence of Spize Restaurant at River Valley Road.
It is now required to “dispose all ready-to-eat food, thawed food and perishable food items, conduct thorough cleaning and sanitising of its premises including equipment, utensils, work surfaces and toilets, and review and rectify the lapses in food preparation processes identified during the joint inspection.”
The suspension will be in place until NEA is satisfied that the public health risks have been addressed.
“Based on our joint investigation findings, NEA will take the necessary enforcement actions against the operator for the hygiene infringements found,” said the statement.
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