SINGAPORE: Mandarin Orchard Singapore closed its Grand Ballroom, Wednesday, after 175 people fell ill with food poisoning and nine had to be hospitalised.
National newspapers including the TV channel ChannelNews Asia the Today Newspaper reported that an investigation by Singapore’s Ministry of Health, the National Environment Agency and Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore was underway focusing on four separate events hosted at the hotel’s ballroom 1 to 3 December.
According to a statement released by the NEA all the infected people had attended events, or eaten meals at the hotel’s Grand Ballroom, resulting in the closure of the banquet kitchen serving the Grand Ballroom.
The first case came to light 4 Dec prompting a joint investigation carried out on the same day by the three government agencies.
According to the ChannelNews Asia report, there were no cases linked to the other food and beverage outlets in Mandarin Orchard Hotel, but authorities said they would review processes at all of the hotel’s kitchens.
The hotel said in the statement that suspension did not extend to other restaurants and function venues, but the closure would continue “until further notice and clearance by relevant authorities”.
Singapore’s clean image and reputation as a food paradise suffered a setback during November when news reports identified a spate of food poisoning cases.
Reports alleged that 80 people were taken ill when they consumed ‘bento’ box lunches supplied by Spize from its River Valley outlet.
More than 20 people were hospitalised and a 38-year-old auxiliary police officer died.
On 23 November, 190 people fell ill with symptoms of gastroenteritis after allegedly consuming food prepared by restaurant group TungLok’s catering arm.
On 26 November, more than 130 students and teachers fell ill after they allegedly consumed food prepared by FoodTalks Caterer and Manufacturer, while attending a children’s camp.
Most of the reports were prompted by reader and viewer tip offs filed with newspapers, online social media platforms and the TV channel.
Overall, more than 400 people were reported to have fallen sick from food poisoning during November.
Food poisoning is relatively uncommon in Singapore. Just a few incidents surface when you Google the subject. One prominent case, also at a five-star hotel, occurred at the Hotel InterContinental’s Man Fu Yuan Restaurant that involved four wedding banquets and a dinner dance event.
An estimated 443 guests fell ill after they attended separate events at the hotel’s Man Fu Yuan Restaurant. An investigation resulted in the temporary suspension of the restaurant, while the hotel was subsequently fined SGD20,000, according to press reports.