Ateneo-Davao poisoning caused by unhygienic food handling-A A +A
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
THE Department of Health (DOH) in Davao Region said Monday that initial findings of case investigation conducted last week showed that the food poisoning incident at the Ateneo de Davao University (Addu) on July 29 resulted from food contamination due to unhygienic food handling.
In an interview, Mary Divene Hilario, officer-in-charge of the Health Advocacy and Promotion of the DOH-Davao, said participants of Sui Generis Leader's Summit showed symptoms of food and water borne illness, or staphylococcal origin, such as vomiting and diarrhea.
"There are many pathogens that can contaminate the food and it depends on the source. Possible source are raw ingredients, processed foods, vegetables and dairy products," the initial finding said.
She said even the caterer, MTC Rebosura, admitted lapses in the preparation of the food that were served to about 397 participants, of which 180 cases were reported to have suffered from food poisoning.
"Sa kadugay nga naga-cater, pagtuo nila daghan na nahibal-an (For the longest time that we're accepting catering services, we thought we already knew everything)," she quoted the caterer as saying.
Medical specialists who conducted the investigation suspected that the contamination came after unshelling the eggs without proper hand sanitation. Other food served were bihon, fish fillet, rice and fruit salad for lunch.
"That's one way of transmitting the bacteria," she said, adding the findings aren't final yet.
She said four medical specialists conducted the case investigation last week -- two of them are Remegio Javier and Dr. Luis Sy Jr. from National Epidemiology Center (NEC) of DOH in Manila.
The other two were Dr. Cleofe Tabal, head of the Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (Resu) of DOH-Davao, and Health and surveillance officer Romel Caritos.
She said the food served were cooked around 4 a.m. of Sunday, but were served for lunch around noon.
"The foods should be consumed within four hours. Beyond that time, the foods must be re-cooked," she said, adding that food preserved at the refrigerator must be re-cooked after three to five days.
A total of 180 participants of the leaders' summit were earlier hospitalized.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on August 08, 2012.