910 sick: Sucks to be in jail in the Philippines

I’ve been in jail.

The food sucks, even if I helped make it better before I went into food safety.

Jonathan M. Hicap of the Manila Bulletin reports a total of 910 prisoners at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa City have fallen ill due to apparent food poisoning since Friday.

Director General Benjamin delos Santos of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) told The Manila Bulletin that the “proximate cause is food served by caterer Thursday evening.”

However, investigators are also testing the facility’s water source.

“(We) will do lab tests on food and water tomorrow (May 29),” said Delos Santos.

Quoting the NBP report, he said 69 prisoners have been confined at the NBP Hospital and that one of them – an elderly inmate – was in critical condition.

“He is an elderly inmate from the minimum security compound and has been ill before,” he noted.

At least 600 other prisoners were diagnosed with diarrhea and attended to by doctors at the NBP Hospital emergency room since Friday.

Delos Santos said a total of 910 prisoners were affected including those who showed symptoms of diarrhea but could just treated at their own dormitories in the Minimum Security, Medium Security and Maximum Security compounds.

107 hospitalized after spaghetti meal in Philippines

Thanks to one of our readers for forwarding the following item by Odessa O. Leyson of The Freeman:

spaghetti-cebu-philepinnesAt least 107 residents of Sitio Tawagan in the mountain barangay of Sirao, Cebu City landed in the hospital Tuesday due to diarrhea and severe dehydration.

Nagiel Bañacia, head of the city’s disaster team, said the city health office is now looking into information that the residents suffered from the ailments after eating spaghetti given by an owner of a flower farm there.

Bañacia is withholding the identity of the farm owner until investigation is concluded.

He said the disaster team had to go up the barangay Tuesday night after receiving reports several of those affected were medicating themselves. Many residents have already sought help at the Guba Community Hospital at this point.

The Guba Community Hospital can accommodate only 50 patients, which was why four other doctors, eight nurses, and medical technologists had to be deployed there.

Bañacia said the city government will shoulder the hospital expenses using the disaster fund.

 

Hepatitis A in scallops

As the number of hepatitis A cases in Hawaii nears 300, how do people prepare scallops?

scallop-lunch-mar-12The hep A seems to have originated in frozen scallops from the Philippines.

But if you follow TV food porn chefs, scallops are cooked when they can bounce off the floor.

No.

Use a tip-sensitive digital thermometer and make sure they reach 145F (which may not be enough to kill hep A; some sources recommend an internal temperature of 195F).

Think I’ll go down to the fish market later today and grill some scallops in garlic-lime butter.

And vaccines work.

208 sick: Hawaii Hepatitis A outbreak linked to frozen raw scallops from Philippines

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local officials are investigating an outbreak of hepatitis A illnesses linked to raw scallops.

scallops.hep.aThe FDA and CDC are supporting the Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) in an investigation of hepatitis A virus (HAV) infections linked to scallops supplied by Sea Port Products Corp. On August 17, 2016, Hawaii Department of Health reported that 206 people have been confirmed to have become ill with hepatitis A in that state.

On August 17, 2016, the FDA, Hawaii DOH, CDC and state partners informed Sea Port Products Corp that epidemiological, laboratory and traceback information indicates their scallops are the likely source of illnesses.

On August 18, 2016, Sea Port Products Corp initiated a voluntary recall of frozen Bay Scallops produced on November 23, 2015 and 24, 2015. The products were distributed to California, Hawaii, and Nevada. The FDA is working with the recalling firm to ensure their recall is effective and that recalled product is removed from the market.

Restaurants and other retailers should not sell or serve the recalled Bay Scallops. The recalled products were not sold directly to consumers. FDA advises consumers not to eat the recalled Bay Scallops. Consumers should ask the restaurant or retailer where their scallops came from to make sure they do not eat recalled Bay Scallops from Sea Port Products Corp.

The FDA’s traceback investigation involved working with Hawaii DOH to trace the path of food eaten by those made ill back to a common source. The traceback investigation determined that Sea Port Products Corp imported the scallops that were later supplied to certain Genki Sushi locations in Hawaii, where ill people reported eating.

On August 17, 2016, FDA laboratory analysis of two scallop samples, which were collected on August 11, 2016, were confirmed positive for hepatitis A. These samples were imported by Sea Port Products Corp. 

The scallops are produced by De Oro Resources Inc., in Suba Basbas, Philippines, and imported by Sea Port Products Corp. in Washington state. Health authorities closed Genki Sushi restaurants on Oahu and Kauai late Monday because the scallops had been served there.

 

Rectal swabs? Eeww: Diarrhea downs 91 police trainees in Philippines

Ninety-one police trainees were hospitalized  Friday due to diarrhea in Surigao City, a belated police report said on Tuesday.

Cartman-Anal-Probe-275x180Superintendent Daniel Puesca, information officer of the Caraga regional police office, reported to the National Operation Center in Camp Crame said that 50 members of Public Safety Field Training Program (PSFTP) class 2015-02 were rushed to the regional hospital at around 6 p.m. Friday

Another 41 trainees were later taken to the same hospital after also complaining of stomachache after they were given first aid by the staff of the training school.

As of Tuesday, Puesca said the Surigao City health office of the DOH are still working to determine the cause of the diarrhea and water samples have been taken by the regional hospital. The results on the water testing are expected in a week.

Results of rectal swabs and stool examinations conducted on the patients will also be sent to Metro Manila for confirmation.

100s sickened: Durian candies positive for E coli in Philippines

Laboratory results released by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Central Office revealed that various samples taken from two durian manufacturers Wendy’s and Blesse’s, linked as source of durian candies that poisoned hundreds of school children in Caraga Region last month, were tested positive of several bacterial contaminations.

durian.candiesSenior Superintendent Aaron Aquino, deputy regional director for operations (DRDO) of Police Regional Office (PRO)-Davao, also Special Inter-Agency Investigation Task Group (SIITG) chief, said that agencies comprising the SIITG will meet this morning, to discuss the appropriate charges that will be filed against the owners of the two durian manufacturers.

“We will meet to discuss the possible charges that can be filed against them (owners),” Aquino told reporters in Wednesday’s AFP-PNP press forum held at The Royal Mandaya Hotel (TRMH).

The water sample taken from a deep well near Wendy’s factory was tested positive for Escherichia coli (E-Coli) bacteria while samples taken from equipment used for the production of durian candies inside Blesse’s factory were also found positive of micro-organisms harmful to human, including diptheriods, bacillus, Coagulase Negative Staphylococus and among others.

“Even the papers used in wrapping the durian products, chopping boards and other used equipment were contaminated by the same bacteria,” Aquino said.

“Food flavorings and some ingredients were also tested positive for these bacteria.

Students in Philippines food poisoning incident released from hospital

Some of the students downed by a food poisoning incident in Calamba, Laguna on Friday have been discharged from the hospital, “News TV Live” reported Saturday.

cupckakesAt least 400 pupils from Real Elementary School on Friday fell ill after eating cupcakes and ice candy served after a story-telling activity.

The event was organized by the Haribon Foundation and sponsored by AMS Electronic Corporation, which also provided the food given to the students.

After eating the snacks, the victims experienced dizziness, stomach ache, and were vomiting.

Samples of the cupcakes and ice candy have already been sent to the Food and Drug Administration for toxicology testing.

Salmonella, E. coli? Almost 2000 sick in Philippines candy outbreak

The Philippines Department of Health on Monday said it is checking durian candies that downed nearly 2,000 students for possible microbial contamination including possible presence of salmonella or E. coli.

durian.candyIn a press briefing, the DOH said samples of the alleged poisoned candies were sent to the DOH laboratory in Davao City for testing and the results will be out on Wednesday.

An official of the Food and Drug Administration said the tests will determine if there is microbial contamination in the candies.

DOH spokesman Lyndon Lee Suy said almost 2,000 children fell ill last week after eating free candies distributed in different cities in the Caraga region.

A total of 1,925 cases of food poisoning have been reported in Caraga region as of 8:30 p.m. Sunday, July 12. At least 66 of the victims remain confined in various clinics and hospitals as of Sunday night, according to a DOH report.

Authorities have stopped the production of Wendy’s Durian Candies in Davao City as these have been blamed for the food poisoning outbreak in the Caraga region.

Davao health officials have also found that the candies are not registered with the Food and Drug Administration.

Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto called Monday for the formation of a team of scientists and doctors which can be rapidly deployed to places hit by food poisoning.

“I think it is time to form quick reaction teams that can respond to food safety emergencies,” Recto said, noting that a creation of a team like Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO) or Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) will investigate cases of mass food poisoning.

The senator stressed that the presence of the SOCO-like or CSI-like team would have a “calming effect” that prevents panic, which usually follow disasters with still unexplained causes.”

1,350 sick 12 arrested: ‘Poisonous’ durian candy in Philippines

Police authorities in Surigao del Sur have so far arrested 12 people, who reportedly sold durian candies that downed over 1,300 people in the said province – mostly children – on Friday.

durian.candyAs this developed, the supposed manufacturer of the candies, Davao City-based Wendy’s, issued a statement disowning the products even as Davao City Acting Mayor Paolo Duterte ordered a probe of where the poisonous sweets had come from.

Supt. Martin Gamba, spokesperson of the Caraga police, said the arrests were made in the towns of Cagwait, Tago and Tagbina and in the city of Tandag when authorities conducted pursuit operations against ambulant vendors said to be responsible for the proliferation of the candies.

He said so far, 1350 persons had suffered nausea, vomiting and abdominal cramps from consuming the candies tainted with still unidentified contaminant.

 

Milk tea kills two in Philippines

In a follow-up to the report of two deaths linked to contaminated chilled milk tea, the Philippines Department of Health said in a statement Monday that in coordination with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and toxicologists from the UP-Philippine General Hospital (PGH), they obtained and studied the footage from the food establishment to aid in assessing the clinical manifestations and course of illness of the victims.

milk.tea_-284x300Samples of the milk tea ingested were also submitted for examination. Preliminary results were negative for suspected toxic substances. However, we have expanded the tests to include biological samples such as blood, tissues, and gastric contents from the victims as collected during the autopsy.

The situation appears to be an isolated event, pointing to a possible case of poisoning. Let me emphasize that this is isolated. In fact, this is the third time the couple bought milk tea in the same food establishment.

The couple they speak of is Suzanne Dagohoy and Arnold Aydalla. On Thursday, the were sickened after tasting milk tea served at the Ergo Cha shop in Bustillos, Sampaloc. Within moments of drinking the milk tea, Dagohoy experienced retching, dizziness, loss of consciousness, twitching of extremities, and pallor. She died 5 hours later.

Mr. Aydalla reportedly experienced fast breathing, chest tightness, weakness of extremities, and carpopedal spasm seven minutes after he sipped the tea. He is currently at the Philippine General Hospital.

In addition to the couple, shop owner William Abrigo also died hours after drinking the milk tea.

Health officials say no untoward incident happened during the previous intake. “We appeal to the public not to generalize the situation as many small and medium scale enterprises are dependent on the sale of milk tea and similar beverages” they noted in the statement.

One person called the report “pointless” while another said the statement raised nothing but confusion. One gentleman called out the DOH saying, “Just do your job, so that it will not happen again.”