SINGAPORE: The food hygiene grades of Summer Palace restaurant and Regent Singapore's banquet kitchen were downgraded to "C" on Monday (Jan 29) after dozens of patrons came down with food poisoning.
The National Environment Agency (NEA) said in an advisory that a total of 43 people who ate food from the establishments on Nov 11 last year had stomach flu - or gastroenteritis - symptoms.
The food hygiene grade of the establishments will be reviewed in 12 months' time, and NEA will keep the premises under surveillance in the meantime, the authority added.
Michelin one-star Cantonese restaurant Summer Palace is located in Regent Singapore, a five-star hotel along Cuscaden Road. Both the restaurant and the hotel's banquet kitchen previously had an "A" grading for food hygiene, according to NEA's website.
In response to Channel NewsAsia' queries, Regent Singapore said it was "unfortunate" that this incident had happened during one of its banquet events. The event was not in Summer Palace restaurant, it also clarified.
The hotel has contacted all 43 guests affected to acknowledge the situation and extend its apologies for the inconvenience caused to them. A mutual resolution was found with all of these guests, the hotel said.
Health authorities conducted investigations via phone interviews with the concerned guests but no medical reports or tests have been shared, so the findings "have been non-conclusive to determine the source and its effect on the guests", according to the hotel.
"The safety and well-being of our guests is of utmost priority and measures are always in place to ensure that the hotel's food hygiene standards are not compromised," it added.
Regent Singapore said that since the incident, it has further tightened supervision to ensure staff continue practicing good food safety and personal hygiene at all times, and will continue working hard in this area to restore the confidence in the hotel.
The management team is conducting weekly kitchen walk-through exercises to continue enforcement of stricter monitoring of food safety and hygiene practices by all staff in the kitchens, including thorough cleaning and maintenance of sanitation of the kitchen, all utensils and equipment, it said.
To ensure that employees maintain these proper standards, weekly food hygiene meetings and training organised by certified food handlers are also in place and all eligible staff have also been sent for re-training of the Workforce Skills Qualifications basic food hygiene course.
In addition, the hotel has taken action to review all food storage equipment to ensure it meets food safety regulations and guidelines at all times and continues to remain vigilant in these areas, it said.