April 7, 2009
Rojak food poisoning
1 dies, another in coma
25 others are in hospital after rojak meal By Nicholas Yong, Sujin Thomas & Diana Othman
ONE person is dead, another is in a coma and 25 others have been hospitalised so far in what is possibly Singapore's worst case of mass food poisoning.
The victims had all eaten Indian rojak, a local favourite, from a popular store at a Geylang Serai hawker centre over three days, beginning last Wednesday.
A total of 111 people sought treatment at hospitals as a result, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said on Monday, adding that 84 were given outpatient treatment.
Untold others have visited their own doctors, or shrugged off the symptoms and resorted to self-medication after eating at the stall, which neighbouring stallholders say sees about 100 patrons a day.
Among those warded at hospitals was a woman who was two months pregnant and suffered a miscarriage. It is unclear if the food poisoning was directly responsible for this.
The cause of the outbreak has not been established yet. But some victims said the gravy for the rojak tasted 'off'.
The dead woman, canteen assistant Madam Aminah Samijo, 57, had eaten the rojak on Friday, along with her husband, Mr Omar Ali, who is in his 50s.
Madam Aminah became violently sick on Friday night, and suffered vomiting and severe diarrhoea. She was taken to the Changi General Hospital, but lapsed into a coma and died yesterday morning without regaining consciousness.
Police have classified the case as unnatural death. An autopsy will be conducted.
Mr Omar, who is in his 50s, has also been warded at CGH, but his family said his condition is improving.
The most seriously ill of the other victims is Madam Noraini Kasim, 59, who is lying in a coma at Alexandra Hospital. She has been warded since Saturday afternoon and has a history of diabetes.
Read the full story in Tuesday's edition of The Straits Times.