The water you buy from vending machines in Malaysia may not be as clean as you think.
Twenty-nine samples of water were drawn from such machines throughout the Klang Valley – and almost all were contaminated.
There were harmful E. coli, Coliform and Clostridium perfringens microbes – the same kind of bacteria found in untreated sewage.
Coliform and Clostridium perfringens are also the same bacteria found in human and animal faeces.
These bacteria can cause cramps, diarrhoea and other gastrointestinal problems.
The Star conducted the tests together with Forum Air Malaysia, an organisation formed to assist the National Water Services Commission.
Five-year-old Muhammad Iqbal Rafie Mohd Ilme of Malaysia died from Salmonella while being taken to seek treatment at a hospital.
“He had suffered acute dehydration, he had been vomiting and had diarrhoea since March 1 after consuming food which had been bought at the night market in Kuala Terengganu,” said State Health director Datuk Dr Anwa Sulaiman.
68 other victims are still being treated at the Sultanah Nur Zahirah Hospital.
From that number, 18 of them are children.
The State Department had also confirmed that the victims fell ill after consuming four types of food which was sold at the Dataran Syahbandar night market between February 28 and March 1.
“All the victims had consumed these four types of food which was sold at the Dataran Syahbandar or Padang Hiliran night market which included white fried rice, red fried rice, fried kuey tioe and fried noodles,” he said.
A total of 346 children as well as seven teachers from Pat’s Schoolhouse centers have now been reported to have fallen ill with food poisoning, up from the 218 previously reported (right, photo from Asia One).
The incident occurred on Tuesday and the affected were from eight out of the chain’s 14 centres, reported the Straits Times.
Pat’s Schoolhouse has also terminated the services of the caterer, Mum’s Kitchen.
In a statement to the media yesterday, the chain said: ‘Since May 12, all the meals for Pat’s Schoolhouse centres have been prepared by their in-house cooks.
The Malaysian health ministry is stepping up scrutiny on the imported ‘Wang Wang’ rice crackers and collecting its samples for laboratory tests, following a report that coliform and Escherichia coli bacteria were detected in the product in China.
The minister, Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, said Malaysia imported 334,460 boxes of the product this year but was unsure how many were still in the market or whether they were contaminated.
As a precaution, he said the product was placed at Level 5 of the Food Safety Information of Malaysia (Fosim), where the product would be analysed before release into the market.
Non-compliance with personal hygiene by cooks, food handlers and the public is the main cause of the recent cholera outbreak in Terengganu, Director-General of Health Tan Sri Dr Ismail Merican said yesterday.
"We took a number of samples from cholera-contaminated food premises, ice manufacturing factories, factories that produce keropok lekor and wet markets. We found that the drinking water at these outlets was not contaminated, showing that the spread was from the people infected with the disease. … We need public cooperation, especially from those who prepare and handle food. They must adhere to personal hygiene."
The disease broke out in October and affected 188 people. One of them died.