Victims ate seafood items
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of those who came down with food poisoning after Indian rojak at Geylang
Serai had sampled either the prawn fritters or cuttlefish, or both.
was what Dr Helen Oh, a senior consultant dealing with infectious diseases
at Changi General Hospital, established after staff spoke to the 77
patients treated there.
seafood items were believed to have been contaminated by Vibrio
parahaemolyticus bacteria, a common cause of food poisoning associated with
consumption of raw or partially cooked seafood.
victims, including the first death, had tested positive for the bacterium,
a sub-species in the same family as those that cause cholera, by Health
is not as common here. The more common causes include salmonella,
staphylococcus aureus and e.coli,' she said.
is a bacterium found in poultry, eggs, unprocessed milk as well as meat and
water. E.coli can be found in undercooked meat, unpasteurised apple juice
and milk, and salads.
aureus bacteria is found on the skin and in the nostrils of up to 25 per
cent of people and animals worldwide.
Tay Khoon Hean said: 'If the food handler does not adopt proper hygiene or
is a carrier, then he passes this bacteria on and the food he touches would
pass the germs on to the people who eat it.'
ensure seafood is safe, Dr Oh said clams, oysters, mussels, scallops, and
other mollusks should be cooked.
seafood - or meats for that matter - should be kept well chilled, at
refrigerator temperatures, even while defrosting. They should never be
defrosted in room temperature,' she said.