The laksa stall in Baling, Kedah, started a food poisoning epidemic and dragged 83 individuals to their sick bed − including two that died from it. The incident happened on October 8 where these unsuspecting customers visited “Laksa Kebok Landak” in Kupang.
Members of the public franticly wanted to know the cause of the poisoning where some Internet hoax claimed the ‘culprit’ was iceberg lettuce. The Health Ministry refuted it and said that it was most likely due to the noodles… and they were right!
According to a report by NST today (Oct 22), the ministry had confirmed that the cause of food poisoning came from a bacteria called “salmonella enterica serovar weltevreden” found in the laksa noodles.
“The bacteria is detected in the laksa noodle which was bought last October 4 at a food stall. The laksa noodle was produced at a processing premise which is also owned by the food stall owner.
“The risk factors contributing to food poisoning are likely to arise from the process of preparing and storing unclean laksa noodles and the temperature during the process of preparing the laksa which may be inadequate to kill the germs,” said Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah in a statement yesterday.
The research was conducted in the Sungai Buloh National Public Health Laboratory and the Penang Food Safety and Quality Laboratory through a test called “Pulse Field Gel Electrophoresis” (PFGE). The bacteria was found both in the laksa sample as well as in the clinical samples of the patients.
The Star reported that the source of the bacteria is in the laksa noodles bought from the stall on October 4. No new food poisoning cases were reported after October 9. The laksa produced on that ill-fated day caused a total of 83 victims suffered food poisoning which 34 cases came from Perak − where two dead victims were from − 25 cases in Kedah and 24 cases in Selangor.
FeedMe Malaysia previously covered the story that included comments from a family member of the 28-year-old late victim, Abdul Rahim Abdul Manaf. He swore to never eat laksa again.