Food stall suspended, NUS orders audit after 5 students develop gastroenteritis symptoms in 2nd case this month

Food stall suspended, NUS orders audit after 5 students develop gastroenteritis symptoms in 2nd case this month
The National University of Singapore conducted preliminary checks after being informed about the latest outbreak, inspected all the stalls in the affected canteen and suspended the food stall which the students had consumed food from for one week pending further investigation.
PHOTO: Shin Min Daily News

SINGAPORE - The National University of Singapore (NUS) and the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) are investigating after five students from Prince George's Park House, a student residence, developed symptoms of gastroenteritis.

This incident, which occurred on April 12, is the second one this month.

On April 4, 22 students at Ridge View Residential College, another student residence at NUS, came down with similar symptoms.

An NUS spokesman on Wednesday (April 17) said that the university conducted preliminary checks after being informed about the latest outbreak on Monday.

It found that these students had consumed food from a stall at the air-conditioned canteen at Prince George's Park Residence. Some had also consumed food at off-campus dining outlets prior to falling ill.

University staff subsequently inspected all the stalls in the canteen on Monday and suspended the food stall which the students had consumed food from for one week pending further investigation.

As a precaution, all stalls in the canteen were also instructed to close early that day so that a thorough cleaning of the premises could be conducted.

A majority of the residents affected ate food from the Malay food counter, a source said.

The spokesman added that NUS takes a serious view of food safety and is monitoring the situation closely.

He said that regular hygiene audits are conducted for all dining facilities serving NUS' on-campus accommodations, as well as food and beverage outlets within the Kent Ridge and Bukit Timah campuses.

In addition, on Wednesday, NUS initiated an independent audit of these dining areas, which is expected to be completed within a month.

A spokesman for SFA said that as of noon on Wednesday, the five affected students had recovered. None of them were hospitalised.

He added that gastroenteritis, which causes diarrhoea or vomiting, can be caused by viruses, bacteria or bacterial toxins.

People can develop gastroenteritis through eating or drinking contaminated food or having direct contact with someone who is infected.

Individuals who touch contaminated surfaces and then put their unwashed hands in their mouths can also fall ill with it.

The spokesman said that it is important for people who are affected to rehydrate by drinking plenty of fluids, and seek medical attention if necessary.

This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.

Purchase this article for republication.
Your daily good stuff - AsiaOne stories delivered straight to your inbox
By signing up, you agree to our Privacy policy and Terms and Conditions.