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Health Ministry identifies salmonella strain behind laksa deaths

Published:  |  Modified:

The Health Ministry has confirmed that the agent that caused food poisoning in laksa recently was due to the Salmonella enterica serovar Weltevreden bacteria.

Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said pulse field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) tests conducted at the Sungai Buloh National Public Health Laboratory and the Penang Food Safety and Quality Laboratory today found the bacteria in the clinical samples of the patients and the laksa sample.

“The bacteria was detected in the laksa noodle which was bought last Oct 4 at a food stall . The laksa noodle was produced at a processing premises who is also owned by the food stall owner.

“The risk factor that contributes to the food poisoning incident was possibly caused during the process of preparing and storing of the laksa that is not clean, and the temperature during the processing stage which may be inadequate to kill the germs," Noor Hisham said in statement here today.

The total number of cases remains at 83, including two deaths due to food poisoning after the patients consumed laksa which was bought at a stall in Baling on Oct 8.

The breakdown of the cases are 34 cases, including two deaths in Perak, 25 cases in Kedah and 24 cases in Selangor.

Salmonella enterica serovar Weltevreden can cause fever, vomiting, stomach ace and diarrheoa.

According to Noor Hisham, the Baling district health office had informed the food stall owner of the test results.

- Bernama

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