Why wasn’t a public warning issued? Pregnant women among 21 people sick after salmonella outbreak at Vietnamese restaurant in Australia

Two heavily pregnant women were among at least 21 people believed to have fallen ill after a salmonella outbreak at a popular Vietnamese restaurant in Melbourne’s inner west.

Authorities confirmed the outbreak at Hao Phong on Hopkins St in Footscray has forced at least three people to admit themselves to hospital.

Department of Health spokesman Graeme Walker said a further 18 people were Salmonella outbreaksuspected to have been affected by the outbreak, which occurred in late December.

Mr Walker said one of the confirmed victims spent “several hours” in hospital under observation before being released.

Two others presented at hospital where they were assessed and released.

Pregnant Anny Egan, 33, told the Herald Sun she and her daughter Summer, 2, became violently ill after eating at the restaurant during the contamination period between December 27 to 31.

Her husband Craig, 33, also got sick after the family visited Hao Phong – one of their favourite restaurants.

The Yarraville woman, who is due to give birth tomorrow, said she was “terrified” of going into labour while she was sick.

“It was hell,” she said.

“I thought it was gastro. I thought, is my husband gonna be able to hold the baby? Is my daughter going to be able to meet the baby?”

Mark Maltar said he, his partner who is eight months pregnant, and his in-laws became violently ill after ordering takeaway from Hao Phong during the contamination period between December 27 to 31.

His partner has been to hospital twice in the past week for tests to make sure their baby wasn’t harmed.

“We were pretty concerned about the baby,” Mr Maltar said.

“The advice we’ve been given is that it’s highly unlikely the baby has been contaminated, but we have to wait and see.”

Workers inside the restaurant this morning would not speak to the Herald Sun.

Signs taped to the restaurant’s front door told customers: “We are temporary closed today due to the exhausted fan and store are out of order.

“Sorry for any inconvenience.”