Queensland Coroner Terry Ryan on Tuesday published his findings into the deaths of Noelene Bischoff, 54, and her 14-year-old daughter Yvana, who died within a few hours of each other in Bali on January 4 last year.
Mr Ryan said there was nothing to be gained from holding an inquest and determined the cause of their death to be a “severe reaction to food, likely to have been fish, consumed while on holiday in Indonesia”.
That severe reaction was probably scombroid syndrome, which occurs after eating certain types of fish that produce high levels of histamine, he said.
Autopsies have found scombroid food poisoning likely caused the deaths of Noelene and Yvana Bischoff in Bali last month.
Their family has been told forensic pathologists, who conducted autopsies on Noelene Bischoff, 54, and her 14-year-old daughter Yvana, had found they died from a combination of food poisoning and existing medical conditions after they ate fish at a Bali restaurant in early January.
Malcolm Bischoff, Noelene’s brother, said it appeared they both suffered from food poisoning that, coupled with their asthma and, in Noelene’s case, migraine medication had formed a fatal cocktail. “We were happy it wasn’t foul play because that would be disgusting,” Mr Bischoff said.
Scombroid food poisoning can result from eating spoiled fish, meaning the restaurant’s preparation could have made no difference, Mr Bischoff said.
Andre Pierce, Wake County’s director of the environmental health and safety division says regardless of the outcome [of the test results], he’s confident the problem was created at the restaurant.
“If you had some source issue with a product, you would expect to have calls around the state,” Pierce said. “We didn’t have anything like that …So we believe there’s something that was going on possibly at that facility that was the problem. Pierce suspects a toxin or chemical caused the sickness, perhaps through cross contamination.
Incident reports from Wake County show all of the customers who became ill ate salads. A sample of tuna was sent for testing.
“This appears to be a classic case of histamine fish poisoning,” said North Carolina State University microbiologist Dr. Lee-Ann Jaykus, who 5 on Your Side asked to review the reports. "Scombrotoxin fish poisoning is probably the leading cause of seafood associated food-borne illness,” Jaykus said.
Scombrotoxin fish poisioning is caused by histamine and is often caused by temperature abuse of fish. Illnessess are similar to allergic reactions and can strike patrons quickly. Gotta keep that fish cold to reduce the risk.