THE Department of Health (DOH) in Davao Region said Monday that initial findings of case investigation conducted last week showed that the food poisoning incident at the Ateneo de Davao University (Addu) on July 29 resulted from food contamination due to unhygienic food handling.
In an interview, Mary Divene Hilario, officer-in-charge of the Health Advocacy and Promotion of the DOH-Davao, said participants of Sui Generis Leader’s Summit showed symptoms of food and water borne illness, or staphylococcal origin, such as vomiting and diarrhea.
“There are many pathogens that can contaminate the food and it depends on the source. Possible source are raw ingredients, processed foods, vegetables and dairy products,” the initial finding said.
She said even the caterer, MTC Rebosura, admitted lapses in the preparation of the food that were served to about 397 participants, of which 180 cases were reported to have suffered from food poisoning.
“Sa kadugay nga naga-cater, pagtuo nila daghan na nahibal-an (For the longest time that we’re accepting catering services, we thought we already knew everything),” she quoted the caterer as saying.
Medical specialists who conducted the investigation suspected that the contamination came after unshelling the eggs without proper hand sanitation. Other food served were bihon, fish fillet, rice and fruit salad for lunch.
“That’s one way of transmitting the bacteria,” she said, adding the findings aren’t final yet.
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