'Glass shards' noodle canteen operator suspended

PUTRAJAYA: The canteen operator implicated in the case of fried noodles containing glass shards has been suspended.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said initial investigations revealed that the operator at SJKT Ladang Nigel Gardner prepared the fried mee hoon at home.

"The operator's home is 45km away from the school, so the contamination could have happened at home, during transportation or at the school. This is being investigated and the operator's services are suspended temporarily.

"The ministry conducts periodic checks at all schools to see if the food prepared for students is safe. If the food is prepared at home, then this is another issue, as we cannot monitor it.

"I am not sure how widespread this is, but I have instructed our food safety and quality division to look into it and ensure food for students is prepared at the school canteen," he said at a press conference here yesterday.

The investigations are being done by the Health and Education ministries and could take a few weeks.

Last week, seven students under the Government's supplementary food programme at the Hulu Selangor school were admitted to hospital after eating the contaminated noodles.

Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid said medical reports showed that there were "small objects" in the intestines of three students.

The reports prepared by the Sungai Buloh Hospital, however, did not identify what the small objects were, he said.

Deputy Education Minister Datuk P. Kamalanathan said a replacement food supplier had been roped in so as to not disrupt the food programme.

The Hulu Selangor MP had also instructed the school authorities and teachers in charge of the programme to inspect the food before allowing pupils to eat it.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak wrote on his blog that the case "should not have happened" and called for a probe.