Hooi Kee Eating House's operations suspended after 2 diners hospitalised with typhoid fever
SINGAPORE: An F&B outlet at Singapore Shopping Centre was directed to suspend operations from Thursday (Feb 11) after two diners were hospitalised with typhoid fever, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Singapore Food Agency (SFA).
The authorities said they are investigating the cluster of two typhoid fever cases who were reported to have symptoms including fever, headache, diarrhoea and cough after consuming food prepared by Hooi Kee Eating House on several occasions from Jan 2 to Jan 18.
In view of the "suspected ongoing transmission", SFA has directed the business, which is located at 190 Clemenceau Avenue, #01-19/20, to suspend operations until further notice.
Both cases were hospitalised. One has been discharged and the other is in a stable condition in hospital, said SFA and MOH.
"Members of the public who have consumed food from Hooi Kee Eating House and subsequently develop prolonged fever should consult their general practitioner immediately and inform the doctor of their food history," the authorities added.
All food handlers working in the premises are required to re-attend and pass the Food Safety Course Level 1 and test negative for foodborne pathogens before they can resume work as food handlers.
The appointed food hygiene officers working at the premises are also required to re-attend and pass the Workforce Skills Qualifications' Conduct Food and Beverage Hygiene Audit course before they can resume work as food hygiene officers. The licensee is also required to clean and sanitise the premises, including equipment and utensils.
SFA reminded food operators to observe good food and personal hygiene practices at all times, saying it "will not hesitate to take firm action against anyone found to be in violation of the Environmental Public Health Act".
"In the interest of maintaining a high standard of food hygiene at all eating establishments, we would also like to advise members of the public who come across poor hygiene practices in food establishments not to patronise such outlets but to report to SFA," said the authorities.
A person with typhoid fever usually has prolonged fever, which may be accompanied by other symptoms common to many diseases, such as headache, body aches, vomiting, diarrhoea or constipation, according to the authorities. Typhoid fever is treatable with antibiotics.
It is a bacterial infection caused by Salmonella typhi. Food items that can be contaminated by the bacteria include raw or ready-to-eat foods, such as raw (unpasteurised) milk or their products, seafood, and fresh produce including fruits and vegetables.
"The key to prevention of typhoid fever lies in hand hygiene, safe handling, cooking and consumption of food," said MOH and SFA.
This can be done by washing and peeling raw fruits or vegetables that can be peeled before consumption; cooking food thoroughly; avoiding raw (unpasteurised) milk or food made from raw milk; washing hands and kitchen utensils such as knives and cutting boards thoroughly before handling food; and using separate sets of knives and cutting board for raw and cooked food.