They might be famous for their durian pastries but these treats are reportedly the cause of not one, but 76 food poisoning cases at Goodwood Park Hotel's bakery as of Thursday (Apr 21).
The National Environment Agency (NEA) said on Friday (April 22) in a joint statement with the Ministry of Health (MOH), and Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) that it has suspended the licence of Goodwood Park Hotel's bakery.
It also ordered the hotel to cease the production, sale and distribution of all pastries that are prepared by its bakery and to dispose of all pastries prepared there with immediate effect, until further notice.
Investigations into the alleged food poisoning incidents that happened between March 15 and April 16 this year are ongoing.
These incidents traced to the consumption of durian pastries prepared at Goodwood Park Hotel, located at 22 Scotts Road.
The hotel has been selling durian pastries for the past 33 years.
According to a post on Goodwood Park Hotel's Facebook page, their bakery will not be able to produce desserts for these restaurants: Gordon Grill, L’Espresso, Coffee Lounge and Deli. The hotel added that they have "sourced from reputable establishments for alternatives to replace the affected desserts".
NEA has also required the hotel to clean and sanitise the bakery, including equipment, utensils, work surfaces and toilets, and review and rectify the lapses in food preparation processes identified during the joint inspections.
MOH had initiated investigations when the first food poisoning incident was notified on March 15. The next day, NEA inspected the bakery's premises.
After the second incident was reported, MOH stepped up investigations and inspected the bakery's premises of Goodwood Park Hotel on April 4.
Subsequently on April 13, the three agencies conducted joint investigations at Goodwood Park Hotel when more incidents linked to their durian pastries were reported.
MOH's investigations found that the consumption of the hotel's durian pastries was the "only common epidemiological link".
Some lapses in food handling were also found at the durian pastry kitchen of the hotel's bakery.
However, the premises was found to be clean with proper housekeeping and refuse management with no signs of pest activity and hygiene lapse, said the government agencies.
AVA has conducted checks at Goodwood Park Hotel's food ingredients suppliers, including their durian pulp supplier. No food safety lapses have been found at the suppliers' establishments so far.
There were also no other complaints of food poisoning from other establishments that used the durian pulp from the same supplier as Goodwood Park Hotel's.
MOH has collected stool samples from those affected and from food handlers, who have been sent for screening. Only those who are certified medically fit will be allowed to resume work after medical clearance by MOH, when the bakery is allowed to resume operations.
All food handlers working in the bakery are also required to re-attend and pass the Basic Food Hygiene Course, before they can resume work as food handlers.
MOH and NEA are monitoring the situation closely, said the statement.
NEA added that it will take the necessary enforcement actions if any hygiene infringements are found.