SINGAPORE: Authorities have suspended the food business operations of caterer Rasel Catering following 284 reported cases of gastroenteritis by people who ate food prepared by the caterer.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) are investigating two incidents that took place between Nov 8 and Nov 16, they said in a joint statement on Saturday (Nov 19).
None of the affected people was hospitalised, having either sought outpatient treatment, self-medicated, or recovered without treatment.
"In view of the suspected ongoing transmission, SFA has suspended the food business operations of Rasel Catering Singapore Pte Ltd located at 253 Pandan Loop Singapore 128432 with effect from Nov 18, 2022 until further notice," said MOH and SFA.
The company also must clean and sanitise the premises - including equipment and utensils - and throw away all ready-to-eat food and perishable food items.
All food handlers and the appointed Food Hygiene Officer working in the premises are also required to reattend and pass food safety courses before they can resume work. Food handlers must also test negative for foodborne pathogens.
"Food safety is a joint responsibility," MOH and SFA said in the press release, adding that it would not hesitate to 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, the authorities also advised members of the public who come across poor hygiene practices in food establishments not to patronise such outlets, and instead give online feedback with details for authorities to follow up on.